April 28 Apr 28
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Presentation Slides


Research Seminar Series: Marissa Reitsma

Strategies to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign

The COVID-19 epidemic has had a disproportionate impact on racial/ethnic minority populations in the US. In the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, Black and Hispanic people have been under-represented among those receiving vaccinations, relative to both their share of the population and their shares of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Age-based vaccine eligibility schemes have potentially amplified disparities because of demographic differences across racial/ethnic populations, exacerbated further by differential access and vaccine confidence. In this seminar, we will discuss ongoing modeling work that examines how strategies focusing on geographic dose allocation, access barriers, and vaccine acceptance can affect both overall population benefits from vaccination and racial/ethnic disparities in the distribution of these benefits.


Marissa Reitsma
Health Policy PhD Student
Knight-Hennessy Scholar
Epidemiology and Population Health
Stanford University

Marissa Reitsma is a Health Policy PhD student and Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Prior to joining Stanford in 2019, she worked as a research fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, on modeling the health effects of obesity, smoking, alcohol use, and drug use for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Additionally, she has conducted laboratory-based research on HIV drug resistance and primary data collection to improve tobacco surveillance systems in resource-constrained settings. Broadly, Marissa is interested in developing applied quantitative models to reduce health inequalities, both within countries and between countries. Over the past year, she has been actively engaged in a number of data analytic and modeling projects to inform the policy response to COVID-19, with a particular focus on addressing health disparities.