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. Some of my ongoing projects include: a population-based study of socioeconomic status and childhood vaccination in Denmark, a survey experiment examining the relationship between prosocial attitudes and HPV vaccine acceptance, and a qualitative study of  vaccination and injectable PrEP use among gay and bisexual men. I also collaborate on community-based participatory research projects addressing ethical payment for participation in research studies, HIV and aging, and LGBTQ+ health.
My research is published in leading medical sociology and health journals, such as AIDS and Behavior, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Health and Social Behavior,  LGBT Health, Preventive Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, SSM-Population Health, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Transgender Health, and Vaccine.
I regularly engage with the media, community stakeholders, and the public about my research and health-related topics, including COVID-19 disparities and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and access.
I earned my PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia and MPH in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto. In 2021, I completed a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine