Student participates in COVID vaccine trials


Courtesy of Melanie Mitchell

Melanie Mitchell, ’22, was one of the first young, Black women to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials.

By Aniyah Mack, Walnut Hills High School

Melanie Mitchell, ’22, has made history and has been one of the first young, Black females to be a part of the COVID-19 vaccine trials. When the trial opened to teens, Mitchell wanted to seize the opportunity and represent not only her age group, but also young women of color.

 “I know how diversity is not always considered in clinical research. I wanted to change that while representing both the Black community and my age group,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell went into the trial educated and was given support all throughout her process with a 24 hour help hotline in case there were any complications. 

She went in for her first dose in November, and was given daily surveys to report her symptoms. Her only side effects from the vaccine have been a sore arm but she never experienced any COVID-19 symptoms since she was never actually injected with the virus. 

Mitchell believes the vaccine has been working since her second dose, she has even come in contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 and her test results have still come back negative. 

Since her first dose, she has been able to do interviews and share her vaccine experience with networks like MSNBC. Mitchell has always been a great public speaker and her being able to inspire Americans is something she is always going to be grateful for.

Mitchell shared her vaccination experience on MSNBC.

“I’ve always been told I’m a natural born leader and public speaker. It wasn’t until I saw myself on MSNBC and had people calling me a ‘national SHEro’ that I believed it. 

The opportunity to inspire Americans and specifically teenagers was amazing,” Mitchell said. She encourages us all to take the vaccine to ensure our own health, but also for the health of our loved ones. 

“Given that Covid has resulted in the loss of 400,000 Americans, caused many to lose their jobs, and many to suffer from long term side effects, the vaccine is so so important. I understand hesitation, but we have to trust the science and the research,” Mitchell said.  

She wants to remind us all that brighter days are ahead and that soon things will be back to normal.  

This story was originally published on The Chatterbox on February 1, 2021.