No, You Can’t “Do Your Own Research” When it Comes to Vaccines

What I wish anti-vaxxers would understand about scientific research

Anu Kumar
5 min readAug 26, 2021


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

The last 1.5 years have not only produced some vaccines, but also some armchair epidemiologists. And by some, I mean way too many.

I love it when people get curious about science and understand that there’s a lot of popular misinformation out there disguised as credible scientific fact. I’m glad that the pandemic has made more transparent the roles of PhD-level researchers and the importance of their work.

And yet…

With the development of vaccines, subgroups of people don’t want to get them. I’m not talking about people who can’t because of their vulnerable health, but specifically about the people who refuse to after “doing their own research.”

What does “I’ll do my own research” even mean?

I witnessed an exchange on a Facebook thread between two people with staunchly opposing views about the vaccine. One of them, very much against it, concluded they would do their own research about it. At first, I thought it could mean they would talk to their physician and see if they were healthy enough to get the vaccine. After all, I can’t expect someone to reveal they have a health issue if they don’t want to.

But when they started complaining about the efficacy of the researchers' credibility, I felt uneasy.

In reality, they had read other people’s status updates about hearing that the vaccine contains microchips, or will change a person’s DNA (neither of which are true).

For others maybe they want to talk to someone about their fears. They’re worried that the vaccine was made “too quickly,” but that’s also an unreasonable fear. There weren’t any shortcuts made when creating the vaccine. In fact, hundreds of labs around the world were working together on a single cause, and lots of red-tape (aka, standard bureaucracy) was cut.

“Doing my own research” doesn’t actually mean conducting various trials with mRNA coding the spike protein and seeing how it affects cells. When people say they want to do their own research, they probably mean Googling something. Does…



Anu Kumar

I write about books, culture, behaviors, and practical self improvement. Words + Fiction @