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 current research focuses on social inequalities in vaccination. I am wrapping up two pilot studies in Southern California. The first develops and evaluates a community-based intervention that bundles HPV and meningitis vaccination with rapid HIV testing. The second identifies barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccination among adults aged 27–45, who recently became eligible for vaccination. 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 a 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.