Dolly Parton has described feeling honored to have contributed money to research that has led to one of the most encouraging COVID-19 vaccines so far.
In April 2020, the superstar gave word on Instagram that she was donating $1 million to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The Tennessee-based center has been an early trial site for the Moderna vaccine which, according to early data, is 94.5% effective: immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci says that vulnerable groups in the US—such as health care workers and the elderly—could expect to get the first of these vaccinations as soon as the second half of December.
Speaking with the BBC, the 74-year-old country music singer said she was “so excited” to get word of the vaccine’s efficacy. “I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she explained.
A spokesperson from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, John Howser, added that her generous donation is also helping fund a convalescent plasma study–used to treat people who are already suffering from the virus—and research involving antibody therapies: two of which are currently being tested by a multinational pharmaceutical company.
Parton’s donation has surprised few—the “Jolene” singer has a long history of charitable giving. Since 1995, in fact, she’s gifted more than 147 million books to children in need through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Still, fans of ‘Saint’ Dolly have, naturally, gone wild for her latest philanthropic actions.
I always knew Dolly Parton would save us.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) November 17, 2020
Give Dolly Parton the Nobel Peace Prize
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) November 17, 2020
Dolly Parton saving us all would be the perfect deus ex machina ending that 2020 deserves.
— Rebecca Renner 🌈 (@RebeccaRennerFL) November 18, 2020
Cheers to that. And cheers to Dolly.
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