Researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health received a grant from the University of California Health and California Department of Public Health COVID Modeling Consortium to provide insight on pandemic-related challenges. 

Ninez Ponce and Vickie Mays, professors of health policy and management at the Fielding School, will lead the UCLA team in assessing vaccine uptake and risk-reduction measures for Black Californians. The grant will support the 12-month-long project. 

“A lesson learned from the pandemic is that many of the current efforts to model and investigate COVID-19 in Californias Black population have struggled in the absence of evidence-based data to guide resources and interventions,” said Ponce, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “A Black-focused modeling approach is crucial because vaccine adoptions are occurring most slowly among Blacks.”

Los Angeles County records show that for every 100,000 unvaccinated Black residents, more than 15 were hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s higher than other groups in the county’s population, according to Mays, director of the UCLA BRITE Center for Science, Research and Policy and a distinguished professor of psychology at the College of Letters and Science.

Read the full news release.