World reaches vaccine milestone and number of jabs exceeds confirmed cases

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The number of Covid-19 vaccinations globally has surpassed the total number of confirmed cases, a landmark moment that underscores progress made in taming the pandemic despite mounting concern about the threat of new variants.

According to the Financial Times vaccine tracker, the number of doses administered climbed close to 104m on Wednesday while the number of confirmed cases was just over 103m.

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While vaccination rates are accelerating rapidly, the rise in cases of Covid-19 is slowing, although that is due to measures other than vaccines because they have not yet affected transmission in most places.

But Michael Head, global health research fellow at Southampton university, said: “The fact that we have so many vaccines is a huge good news story which has been fed to us in bits and pieces.

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This moment brings it together, showing how fast we have moved and far we have come.”

Health experts attribute the slowing growth in infections to continued lockdowns and social distancing measures, with a possible contribution from immunity acquired from prior infection in some places.

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said new infection rates peaked globally in early January and were now back to the level of last October.

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