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Dolly Parton
Via Wikimedia Commons

Dolly Parton helped pay for the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiine

It’s been almost a year since the coronavirus first emerged, subsequently sending the world into lockdown and immeasurably altering our everyday lives. After months of working from home, avoiding friends, and generally being depressed AF, it seems there could be light at the end of the tunnel as two COVID-19 vaccines are on their way.

Last week (November 9), developers Pfizer and BioNTech announced a vaccine that can prevent more than 90 per cent of people from getting coronavirus. Hot on their heels, US company Moderna revealed its vaccine yesterday (November 16), which is said to offer nearly 95 per cent protection.

As it turns out, we have an unexpected celeb to thank for the latter. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Dolly Parton provided funding for the crucial research that led to Moderna’s breakthrough.

A preliminary report reveals that the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund made a donation to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, whose work inspired Moderna’s research model for the effective vaccine. As reported by CLASH (via Jonathan Cohn on Twitter), the country singer donated $1 million (£755k). 

Parton’s contribution was originally announced by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in April. The 74-year-old reportedly gifted the money in honour of her longtime friend, Naji Abumrad, a professor of surgery. Speaking on NBC’s Today Show, Parton said: “What better time right now, we need this. I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand, and try to help.”

The president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center said at the time: “Dolly’s amazing generosity is a source of inspiration and will have a lasting impact on the battle against COVID-19. She cares so much about helping others and we are very grateful for her ongoing support. These funds will help us complete promising research that can benefit millions in their battle with the virus.”

So, there you have it folks, Dolly Parton helped cure coronavirus.