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Dolly Parton helped fund Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine with $1M of her own cash, Internet hails her as a 'savior'

The Moderna Covid vaccine research work was supported by the 'Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund' among others
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Singer Dolly Parton is being hailed as a "savior" after she donated $1million to help fund Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine. The 74-year-old country singer donated the amount to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee in April, and a part of which was used in the research for the breakthrough coronavirus vaccine. The American biotechnology firm, announced on Monday, November 16, that its Covid-19 vaccine is "nearly 95 percent effective" and may be rolled out within weeks. The company's preliminary report also mentioned Parton's support.

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, stated that the Moderna Covid vaccine research work was supported by the "Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund" among multiple other groups. The iconic star reportedly became friends with Vanderbilt Institute's Dr Naji Abumrad after he treated her following her 2014 car crash. The scientists reportedly told Parton earlier this year that his team was making "some exciting advancements" in the search for a Covid-19 cure. The singer then donated $1million to assist in the research funding, and also encouraged other wealthy donors on Twitter to contribute.

"I’m sure many, many millions of dollars from many people went into that (research fund) but I felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that hopefully will grow into something great and help to heal this world," Parton said in a statement to the BBC, adding, "Lord knows we need it!"

Shortly after Parton's name was linked to the research, multiple people took to Twitter to commend the charitable singer on Twitter while many others called her a "savior."

Linguist Gretchen McCulloch, in praise of the singer, rewrote Parton's hit "Jolene", with the chorus: "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiiiiine, I'm begging you, please go in my arm." While author Lyz Lenz wrote: "Shakespeare may have written King Lear during the plague, but Dolly Parton funded a Covid vaccine, dropped a Christmas album and a Christmas special." Music critic Simon Price tweeted: “In 2020, Dolly Parton’s stood up for Black Lives Matter and put $1 million towards a Covid vaccine, and the year’s not over yet. There’s a strong argument that America should give up the whole ‘democracy’ thing as a bad idea now, and just make Dolly Parton queen of everything.”




A spokesperson for Vanderbilt, in a statement, appreciated Parton's "generous" gift, acknowledging it was helping "several promising research initiatives." Reports state that a portion of the singer's money also went towards funding an early-stage trial of the Moderna vaccine.

The singer's donation is reportedly also supporting a convalescent plasma study and research involving antibody therapies, Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesperson John Howser told the BBC. The plasma therapy is generally used to treat people battling a serious Covid-19 infection. Howser said: "Her gift provided support for a pilot convalescent plasma study that one of our researchers was able to successfully complete. Funds from Dolly's gift are also supporting very promising research into monoclonal antibodies that act as a temporary vaccine for Covid. Two of these antibodies are now being tested by a global pharmaceutical firm."