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SAN DIEGO – One year ago Thursday, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It came at a time when parts of the world were already starting to lock down.

In San Diego, however, many things remained open and large gatherings were still allowed. All that would change within a matter of weeks.

“As a physician, you say, ‘Not on my shift. No one is going to die on my shift,’” Dr. William Tseng, Vaccine Lead for Kaiser Permanente, told FOX 5. “Just too many people have died on my watch, it’s hard sometimes. You do the best you can but this virus just keeps hitting us.”

On March 11, 2020, there were only 180,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide. A year later, the number is 180,000,000. Here in San Diego, more than 3,400 people have died from the virus.

“I’ll tell you, I still remember Dec. 16 when we started vaccinating,” Dr. Tseng said. “I got really emotional. I really felt for once I had the chance to really do something and really turn the tide against the pandemic.”

Three vaccines developed in less than a year, Dr. Tseng said, is unheard of. More than 1.1 million San Diegans have now been vaccinated and starting next week, people 16 and up can get their shots if they have an underlying condition. It’s the biggest group yet.

“I’m hopeful, based off the things I’m hearing, that we will have a better supply chain,” said Tseng, noting the closures at local vaccine sites due to shortages. “Once that happens, it will be smoother. We have a wish list that by July 1, everyone who wants to get vaccinated will get vaccinated. What does that mean? We need about 22-to-25 thousand vaccines a day.”

Tseng’s hopeful timeline matches that of President Joe Biden, who said in a national address Thursday evening that every adult should be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine with May, with hopes of more normalcy in time for July 4.