Public Health

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Public health refers to social, cultural, economic, and geographic conditions that affect a population's well-being. To assist local, national, and international health agencies and organizations, RAND conducts research on public health issues including disaster preparedness and recovery; surveillance, prevention, and management of infectious disease outbreaks; screening for and prevention of chronic diseases; and ways to strengthen the public health infrastructure.

  • Customers are served at the Destiny USA mall during the reopening as COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Syracuse, New York, July 10, 2020, photo by Maranie Staab/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Much Do Americans Value Their Health During the Pandemic?

    Oct 29, 2020

    Do Americans believe that limiting the spread of COVID-19 justifies the social and economic costs of physical-distancing measures? Researchers conducted a survey to better understand how Americans weigh health against other priorities.

  • RAND Gun Policy in America logo

    Project

    Informing the Gun Policy Debate

    Mar 2, 2018

    RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative provides information on what scientific research can tell us about the effects of gun laws. Our goal is to establish a shared set of facts that will improve public discussions and support the development of fair and effective gun policies.

Explore Public Health

  • A worker stands next to the shipment of 600,000 doses COVID-19 vaccines donated by China at the Phnom Penh International Airport, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, February 7, 2021, photo by Cindy Liu/Reuters

    Commentary

    Equal, Rapid Access to Vaccines Is More Important Than Ever as New COVID-19 Variants Emerge

    Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic and lead to preventable deaths. If some countries don't receive timely access to vaccines, then the virus will continue to spread in some populations, mutate further, and potentially render existing vaccines less effective.

    Feb 9, 2021

  • Group of women wearing face masks while running in the city during rainy and gloomy weather, photo by RgStudio/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Understanding Our Culture of Health Before the Pandemic Can Help Us Improve It Afterward

    Measuring health and the social and economic factors that influenced it before the pandemic helps us understand the kind of risks the United States faced previously. It can also inform how to move forward toward recovery.

    Jan 29, 2021

  • Business owner in a mask posting a closed sign on the door, photo by RichLegg/Getty Images

    Report

    Comparing National and International Approaches to COVID-19 Measures

    Uniform measures are needed to track how well other countries and U.S. states are responding to the pandemic and to make valid cross-country and cross-state comparisons. From December 2019 to May 2020, there was tremendous variability in how COVID-19 indicators were measured and reported. What could be done to allow for more standardized and valid comparisons?

    Jan 29, 2021

  • COVID-19 vaccine in a medical syringes at IU Health Bloomington, in Bloomington, Indiana, December 18, 2020, photo by Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Getting COVID-19 Vaccines to Pennsylvania Residents

    Pennsylvania state and county health departments have a number of options that could speed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to make sure Pennsylvania residents at high risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes are vaccinated as soon as possible.

    Jan 19, 2021

  • Volunteers help at an annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, Inglewood, California, November 23, 2020, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Has Offered Opportunities for Communities to Come Together

    The past year has been among the most turbulent in recent memory. Might recent crises provide a catalyst for a renewed sense of civic engagement that transcends some of the race and class divisions COVID-19 has exacerbated?

    Jan 13, 2021

  • Mother and son in pandemic quarantine, photo by gilaxia/Getty Images

    Report

    COVID-19 and the Experiences of Populations at Greater Risk: Description and Top-Line Summary Data — Wave 2, Fall 2020

    This report presents the results of the second of four surveys on how Americans' health views and values have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on populations deemed vulnerable or underserved.

    Jan 13, 2021

  • COVID-19 vaccination stations inside Hillcrest High School, a designated New York City priority vaccination center for people in group 1B, in Queens, NY, January 11, 2021, photo by Anthony Behar/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Options for 2021

    The disorganized public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States helped ensure that the nation led the world in infections nearly from the beginning of the pandemic. With vaccines now becoming available, are we over the problem? Not necessarily.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is administered during a drive through event at InclusivCare in Avondale, Louisiana, January 9, 2021 photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Blog

    As the Vaccines Arrive, So Do the Questions

    As the first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the United States, countless questions have arisen about what comes next. Is one vaccine better than another? Can the United States both speed up inoculation and overcome some people's hesitance to get the shot? RAND experts offer insights into the historic vaccine rollout.

    Jan 11, 2021

  • Overcoming Hurdles to Herd Immunity (Teaser)

    Multimedia

    Overcoming Hurdles to Herd Immunity

    RAND senior physician policy researcher Mahshid Abir describes several hurdles to achieving herd immunity to COVID-19, including the politicization of the vaccine and the spread of misinformation.

    Jan 8, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    The economic benefits of equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines

    Researchers used a global macroeconomic model to examine the economic effects of vaccine nationalism. This brief highlights the cost to 30 high-income countries if low and middle-income countries miss out on initial access to COVID-19 vaccines.

    Dec 17, 2020

  • People talk outside of Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop near a downed tree in the street after Hurricane Zeta swept through New Orleans, Louisiana, October 29, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Report

    When Hurricanes Happen During Pandemics

    Hurricanes can change patterns of mobility and expand the spread of COVID-19, for example, to communal shelters. On the other hand, fear of the virus could cause people who might otherwise evacuate to shelter in place, resulting in more deaths from a hurricane. How can policymakers prepare for this threat?

    Dec 9, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Improved Street Walkability, Incivilities, and Esthetics Are Associated with Greater Park Use in Two Low-Income Neighborhoods

    Improved walkability, incivilities, and aesthetics surrounding parks in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods were associated with greater park use and may help increase visits to underutilized parks.

    Dec 3, 2020

  • Doctor working on laptop

    Tool

    Health Care Tools and Methods

    Developing tools for improving health is part of RAND Health Care's ongoing commitment to translate research into real-world solutions. The tools help individuals, organizations, and government define—and tackle—their own challenges.

    Dec 1, 2020

  • Passengers wait to check in at Tom Bradley international terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, November 23, 2020, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will Thanksgiving Be a National Super-Spreader Event?

    Whether or not Thanksgiving will become a national super-spreader event will depend on the size of individual holiday gatherings across the country and the rate of COVID-19 cases in each community. December could be a grim month if people don't stay home on Thanksgiving.

    Nov 24, 2020

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2020

    Features explore the challenge of delivering effective treatments for veterans with co-occuring disorders; teachers, students, and the importance of civic responsibility in present-day America; and teaching and learning in the age of COVID-19.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • A nurse prepares to inject a potential COVID-19 vaccine into a human patient, photo by PordeeStudio/Adobe Stock.

    Research Brief

    Unequal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Would Further Damage the Global Economy

    As long as the coronavirus is not under control in all regions of the world there will continue to be a global economic cost associated with COVID-19. Vaccine nationalism could cost up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. If the poorest countries cannot access vaccines, the loss would be between $60 and $340 billion a year.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • A family wearing masks while unloading their groceries, photo by RyanJLane/Getty Images

    Report

    American Health Attitudes During COVID-19

    In a survey including people of color and those with low- to moderate-incomes, most prioritized health even when it implies limitations to their liberty and to the economy. But white and non-white respondents differed when weighing the risk of getting COVID-19 with opening the economy or protesting injustice.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • Vials of COVID-19 vaccine, photo by MarsBars/Getty Images

    Report

    COVID-19 'Vaccine Nationalism' Could Cost $1.2 Trillion a Year

    Nationalistic behavior by governments may exclude some countries from access to COVID-19 vaccines. This could cost the world economy up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. A globally coordinated effort to fight the pandemic is key, not only from a public health perspective but also an economic one.

    Oct 28, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Integration of Well-Being with Resilience and Other Broad Scale Social Change

    This book is a combination of scientific papers, case studies from the field, and excerpts from a lively, multidisciplinary discussion which intentionally connects issues of measurement to the imperative for action.

    Oct 22, 2020

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