Disability organizations partner to host ‘Backpacks & Boosters’ vaccine and wellness fair

July 10, 2023

The free event is open to all and designed with accessibility for the disability community in mind.


On July 15, the “Backpacks & Boosters” Community Health and Wellness Fair will offer immunizations, school supplies and other resources from 9 a.m. to noon at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building. The free event is open to all and designed with accessibility for the disability community in mind.

The goal of Backpacks & Boosters is to increase access, particularly for the disability community, to immunizations, school supplies and other important community resources as families head into the new school year. The fair will be wheelchair accessible and fragrance-free and will feature a sensory-friendly entrance to the vaccine clinic. American Sign Language and Spanish interpreters will be available.

The event is being presented by the University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, along with two nonprofit organizations, the Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Direct Advocacy Resource Center.

Free backpacks, school supplies, hygiene kits and take-home COVID-19 home tests will be available while supplies last. The Department of Family and Community Medicine’s Mobile Health Program will be administering free COVID-19 vaccines for people 6 years and older, as well as the Tdap vaccine for those who need it.

Families will be able to participate in fun activities, including a designated coloring station, and enjoy free summer treats provided by eegee’s. University of Arizona mascot Wilbur Wildcat will be available for interaction and photos from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

“While the public health emergency has ended, it doesn’t mean COVID-19 is over. People with disabilities are at greater risk for experiencing poor COVID-19 outcomes, and one of the best ways to prevent serious illness and lower risk of long COVID is to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Jacy K. Farkas, assistant director of the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities. “This event offers a free and accessible way for youth and families in the disability community to get vaccinated while connecting to resources and having fun.” 

More than 20 local community organizations are expected as vendors, including the Autism Society of Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome, Sickle Cell Foundation of Arizona, First Things First and UArizona Center for Rural Health.

More information on the event can be found on the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities’ website.


Elizabeth Jeffrey-Franco
Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities