The country music legend donated $1 million to the development of the Moderna vaccine. She received the first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday.
Dolly Parton broke into song as she got her first dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine that she had helped fund. The country music legend posted a video of her getting the jab, on Instagram on Tuesday. She improvised on the lyrics of her classic song "Jolene", as she urged everyone to get the vaccine. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine," sang Parton to the tune of the 1973 classic. "I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate. Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, because once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late.” The 75-year-old star had contributed $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the trial sites for the Moderna vaccine. Parton said she had been waiting to get the first dose of the vaccine. “I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting a while,” she said in a video, reported CBS News.
"Get out there and get your shot"
Aware of the conspiracy theories against the vaccine, she urged her followers to get the vaccine. “I’m old enough to get it and I’m smart enough to get it. I’m trying to be funny now, but I’m dead serious about the vaccine. I think we all want to get back to normal, whatever that is. And that would be a great shot in the arm, wouldn’t it, if we could get back to that?” said Parton, who traveled to the university to get her shot. “I just wanted to encourage everybody because the sooner we get to feeling better, the sooner we are going to get back to being normal,” she added. She didn't mince her words as she spoke directly to those who were feeding off conspiracy theories and avoiding taking the vaccine. “I just want to say to all of you cowards out there – don’t be such a chicken squat. Get out there and get your shot.”
Parton got her shot from Dr. Naji Abumrad, an old friend of Parton’s who treated her after she suffered minor injuries in a car accident in 2013. It was Dr. Abumrad who inspired her to fund the research for the vaccine. "My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who's been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards that research of the Coronavirus for a cure. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations," she wrote on Instagram at the time.
"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," said the country music legend in an appearance on NBC’s Today Show in November. Jeff Balser, Vanderbilt's president and CEO, hailed her generosity. "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," said Balser.
Earlier this week, Joe Biden announced that America will have enough Coronavirus vaccine doses to vaccinate every adult in the country by May. "That's progress," said Biden, reported CNN. "There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot let our guard down now to ensure victory is inevitable, we can't assume that. We must remain vigilant, act fast and aggressively and look out for one another. That's how we're going to get ahead of this virus, get our economy going again and get back to our loved ones," added Joe Biden.
Disclaimer: Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.