The Daily Press – Boston Mayor Kim Janey announced a Vaccine Equity Grant Initiative Friday that is designed to increase access and awareness among communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program — a joint effort between Janey, the Boston Public Health Commission and the Office of Health and Human Services — includes $1.5 million in available funding for nonprofits, according to a Friday press release. Grant applications will open Wednesday and close April 9.

“We are proud to be part of this grant initiative that will help us increase our current efforts to make sure residents in  our hardest hit communities have access to the vaccine and the support to get vaccinated when it is available to them,” Caitlin McLaughlin, director of media relations for BPHC, wrote in an email.

Applicants’ programs should target minority communities, those with disabilities, individuals over 65 and residents of Chinatown, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and Roxbury, the release stated.

Maddie Ribble, director of public policy and campaign strategy for the Massachusetts Public Health Association, said the effects of COVID-19 “have not been born equally.”

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