Worldwide deaths related to COVID-19 have surpassed five million, according to a Reuters tally, with unvaccinated people particularly exposed to the virulent Delta strain.
The variant has exposed the wide disparities in vaccination rates between rich and poor nations, and the upshot of vaccine hesitancy in some Western nations.
More than half of all global deaths reported on a seven-day average were in the US, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and India.
While it took just more than a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2.5 million, the next 2.5 million deaths were recorded in just under eight months, according to a Reuters analysis.
An average of 8000 deaths were reported daily across the world in the past week, or about five deaths every minute. However, the global death rate has been slowing in recent weeks.
There has been increasing focus in recent days on getting vaccines to poorer nations, where many people are yet to receive a first dose, even as their richer counterparts have begun giving booster shots.
More than half of the world has yet to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data.
The World Health Organisation this week said its COVAX distribution program would, for the first time, distribute shots only to countries with the lowest levels of coverage.
Co-led by the WHO, COVAX has since January largely allocated doses proportionally among its 140-plus beneficiary states according to population size.
The US, which has been battling vaccine misinformation that has caused about one-third of the population to avoid inoculations, surpassed 700,000 deaths on Friday, the highest toll of any country.
US cases and hospitalisations have been trending lower, but health officials are bracing for a possible resurgence as cooler weather forces more activities indoors.
Russia reported 887 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, the largest single-day death toll it has recorded since the pandemic began and the fourth day in a row it has set that record.
Only 33 per cent of Russia's eligible population has received a first vaccine dose.
As a region, South America has the highest death toll in the world accounting for 21 per cent of all reported deaths, followed by North America and Eastern Europe contributing more than 14 per cent of all fatalities each, according to Reuters analysis.
However, India, one of the first countries ravaged by the Delta variant, has gone from an average of 4000 deaths a day to fewer than 300 as its vaccination campaign is rolled out.
About 47 per cent of India's eligible population has received a first shot, with officials administering about 7,896,950 doses a day in the past week, a Reuters analysis of Our World in Data showed.
The Delta variant is now the dominant strain around the globe and has been reported in 187 out of 194 WHO member countries.