External Student Research Opportunities



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External Research Program

Harvard, International Socioeconomics Laboratory


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



Across the Spectrum of Socioeconomics, Volume 1 Issue 5


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


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Public Health


Advisors: Himani Tiwari MS2, Gopal Barik MS2, Kim Warren PhD4, Maurice Glucksman MS3,5, Shankar Suryanarayan MS3, Ryenchindorj Erkhembayar MN6, Dorjbalam Gansukh6, Harshita Magroria5, Brahmani Nutakki5, Sonam Maske5, Sukhada Gole5, Yasashree Rane5, Enkhtungalag Chuluunbaatar7, Byambatsetseg Lkhavgasuren7

Affiliations: 1International Socioeconomics Laboratory TM, 2Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 3Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4London Business School, 5The COVID-19 Localisation Modelling Group, 6Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, 7Public Lab Mongolia

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



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