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 an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. 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 research focuses on social inequalities in vaccination in childhood through older adulthood. Some of my current projects include: a population-based study of socioeconomic status and childhood vaccination in Denmark, a community-based participatory research project to develop and evaluate an HIV testing and vaccination intervention for men who have sex with men, and a qualitative study of barriers to HPV vaccination among racial-ethnically diverse adults. I am also a collaborator on community-based participatory research projects addressing LGBTQ+ health disparities, ethical payment for participation in research studies, and HIV and aging.
My research is published in leading medical sociology and public health journals, including the Journal of Health and Social BehaviorPreventive Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, SSM-Population Health, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, and Transgender Health.
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 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. I recently completed a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine