I am a medical sociologist with expertise in health disparities and vaccination.

Andrea N. Polonijo, PhD, MPH
 (Pronounced: An-dree-uh Po-loan-yo) 
I am a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Social Medicine, Population, & Public Health at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. Trained in medical sociology and public health, I study how social factors such as income, education, race-ethnicity, and sexual orientation influence health behaviors and health outcomes. 
My current research focuses on social inequalities in vaccination, in local, national, and international contexts. I am leading two pilot studies in California’s Inland Empire. The first aims to develop and evaluate a community-based intervention that bundles HPV and meningitis vaccination with rapid HIV testing. The second aims to identify barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccination among adults aged 27–45, who are newly eligible for the vaccine. At the national level, I am leading a quantitative survey of U.S. adults to examine the association between prosocial attitudes and social inequalities in vaccination. I am also collaborating on an international project that examines how family- and community-level socioeconomic status shape childhood vaccination in Denmark. 
My research is published in leading medical sociology and public health journals, including the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science & Medicine, SSM-Population Health, Preventive Medicine, and The Journals of Gerontology: Series B
I regularly engage with the media, community stakeholders, and the public about my research and health-related topics. Recently, I provided expert commentary for several news stories about COVID-19 infrastructure, disparities, and vaccination.
I hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia and an MPH in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, where I studied disparities in mental health and suicidality among ethnoculturally diverse LGBTQ2S youth.
I will join the University of California, Merced as an Assistant Professor of Sociology in July 2021.