I am a medical sociologist with expertise in health disparities.

Andrea N. Polonijo, PhD, MPH

I am a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Social Medicine, Population, & Public Health at the University of California, Riverside. 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 US 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. 
I hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia and MPH in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto. 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 LGBTQ+ youth.
In 2021, I will join the University of California, Merced as an Assistant Professor of Sociology.