The World Health Organization says more than 880,000 new coronavirus cases were registered globally on Thursday, a new record.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for continued anti-infection measures, such as social distancing.
He told reporters on Friday that he understands the steps can be frustrating, while stressing their effectiveness at protecting lives.
Saturday marks one year since the WHO announced the launch of an international framework to develop and ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.
The WHO chief said, "The first objective has been achieved. We now have several safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19." But he added that victory against the pandemic is still a long way off.
He also said vaccines are not the only option, citing the importance of global cooperation to develop therapeutics.