Why Are Kids With Summer Birthdays More Likely to Get the Flu? (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 3)

Listen now:

After struggling to schedule a flu shot for his own toddler, host Bapu Jena went down a research rabbit hole. He discovered that the time of year kids are born has an unexpected and dramatic effect on whether they and their families end up getting the flu. Bapu explains his findings and asks a pediatrician and public health expert what could be done about it.

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Relevant Research & References

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


  • Chris Worsham, physician and researcher at Harvard University.
  • Amol Navathe, physician and health/behavioral economist at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Alyna Chien, pediatrician health services researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.