External Student Research Opportunities



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External Research Program

Harvard, International Socioeconomics Laboratory

Third Place Honor at the 2021 Socioeconomics Symposia


COVID-19 vaccine allocation efforts have posed challenges and offered opportunities to alleviate the ongoing pandemic. Nations have employed varying approaches for COVID-19 vaccine distribution; in particular, Mongolia and India have differed in approaches to vaccine allocation efforts. As of June 2021, Mongolia has vaccinated more than 60% of its population, whereas India has only vaccinated about 7.5%. This disparity highlights the need for the present study, which utilizes a mixed-method approach to examine the two countries' vaccine distribution strategies and COVID-19 containment policies from January to July 2021. The study has three major components: 1) policy analysis to highlight core differences between legislative approaches for containment, 2) dissemination of a survey to both nations to assess public perception of vaccine allocation and distribution efforts, and 3) mathematical vaccine modeling to analyze vaccination coverage in both countries. For the survey, 311 responses from India and 307 responses from Mongolia were analyzed using the statistical software JASP and SPSS. Results showed that Mongolian and Indian respondents had similar views regarding vaccine effectiveness, but that country and region influenced whether distance from a vaccination center was an obstacle for getting the vaccine. Policy analysis revealed key factors—such as early response policies, vaccine diplomacy, and resource allocation—had significant implications on the two nations' distribution efforts. Vaccine distribution pipeline modeling was based on the critical vaccination coverage fraction in each country and revealed that India would not have enough doses to achieve critical vaccination coverage at the current rate of administration.

Publication Date



COVID-19, Vaccine Distribution, Vaccine Strategy, Public Health Response, Vaccine Modeling, India, Mongolia


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Public Health


Advisors: Himani Tiwari MS, Gopal Barik MS, Maurice Glucksman MS, Kim Warren PhD, Shankar Suryanarayan MS, Ryenchindorj Erkhembayar MN, Dorjbalam Gansukh

Affiliation: International Socioeconomics Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; London Business School; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, The Covid-19 Localisation Modelling Group; Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, Public Lab Mongolia

A Comparative Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Efforts in India and Mongolia through Data Visualization



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