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Buffalo VA's "Operation New Hope" vaccination site a model for the rest of the country

Operation New Hope helping vaccinate thousands of vets
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 17:40:27-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since January 12th, the VA Western New York Heathcare System has vaccinated thousands of veterans out of a one of a kind vaccination site based in their Bailey Avenue parking lot. They have decided to call it "Operation New Hope".

"This is the model for the nation about how to go about administering the vaccine," Sean Lindstrom, COVID-19 Vaccine Coordinator said.

The site is supposed to be a 25-bed field hospital, but was transformed into the vaccination site. Officials say it's been such a success since opening, that similar sites are now going to pop up all over the country using Buffalo as a model.

Operation New Hope exterior
Operation New Hope exterior

All vaccines are appointment only for enrolled veterans. Appointments can be made at (716) 862-7868, or at the website here. Initially, appointments were only for senior veterans, but, with a capability of doing nearly one thousand vaccines per day, VA Western New York Healthcare System has been able to remove age restrictions.

"It is 18 and older," Lindstrom said, "We're vaccinating any veteran that is eligible and enrolled in care."

Officials say it's been encouraging to see the turnout, while hoping many more still sign up.

"We're hoping by the time Easter rolls around we will have gotten a shot in every single veteran's arm that wants it," Lindstrom said.