Recent findings from the New England Journal of Medicine have identified the country music legend as a sponsor of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine which is said to be 94.5% effective against Coronavirus.
After almost an entire year of tragedy following more tragedy, we're now seeing hints of what is hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel. With a week of each other, two pharma giants have announced success in developing effective Covid-19 vaccines and some experts anticipate that the first of millions of Americans could start receiving vaccination as early as December. While there are many to thank for this historic feat — the fastest vaccine ever developed, for mumps, took four years from conception to approval — among those is a name most, if not all, of us are familiar with: Dolly Parton.
According to CNN, recent findings from the New England Journal of Medicine have identified the country music legend as a sponsor of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine which is said to be 94.5% effective against Coronavirus. Parton's name appears in the preliminary report on the vaccine amidst sponsors like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci) and Emory University. While the internet praised the "Jolene" singer for supporting such an important cause, Parton appears to be just as surprised as anyone about her role in the scientific breakthrough.
Turns out Dolly Parton did more to bring us a COVID vaccine than Donald Trump— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) November 17, 2020
"Yeah, that's what I understand this morning," she told NBC's "Today" Tuesday when asked about the social media buzz. "I haven't read up enough. They told me that just before I went on the air that they may be asking me about that. I'm just happy that anything I do can help somebody else, and when I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good, and evidently, it is. Let's just hope we find a cure real soon."
When I donated the money to the Covid fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon. pic.twitter.com/dQgDWexO0C— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) November 17, 2020
Parton first announced her contribution to the fight against the deadly virus back in April — less than a month after Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic — when she revealed that she had donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in honor of her friend and Vanderbilt professor of surgery Dr. Naji Abumrad for coronavirus research. Although reported Covid-19 cases in the US at the time was considerably lower than what it is now, Parton recognized then the severity of the virus and urged fans to donate to Vanderbilt Health's Covid-19 research fund, which had raised $100,234 of its $250,000 goal as of Wednesday morning.
Parton's gift was first used toward research for interim Covid-19 treatments while the vaccine was being developed, the celeb revealed back in April. "What better time right now, we need this," she said during an appearance on NBC's Today Show. "I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand, and try to help." Jeff Balser, president and CEO of VUMC and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, thanked the "9 to 5" singer for her generosity saying: "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."
Dolly Parton can cure COVID but COVID could never write ‘Jolene’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’ in the same day!!!— Zara Rahim (@ZaraRahim) November 17, 2020
It’s a tremendously discouraging time. But still, we can always find the helpers. Don’t lose hope.— Esther Choo MD MPH (@choo_ek) November 17, 2020
The Moderna vaccine was developed with support from the Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund pic.twitter.com/T3ERI7ofsZ— Dr. Seema Yasmin (@DoctorYasmin) November 17, 2020
So many reasons to love Dolly Parton - here's one more: She helped fund Moderna's Covid vaccine!— 𝕂𝕚𝕞 🐝 𝔹𝕚𝕕𝕖𝕟 𝕎𝕠𝕟 🥳 (@ChaplainheArt) November 17, 2020
Thank you, Dolly! 👏👏👏#OVTTDS #ONEV1 #DemVoice1 pic.twitter.com/hfeoWQ83Gv
News of Parton's latest philanthropic act has touched the hearts of her fans who turned to social media to sing the praise of their idol. "Yes, knowing Dolly Parton partially funded a vaccine DOES make me trust it even more," tweeted drag artist Courtney Conquers while TV writer Camilla Blackett wrote: "Someone said cos Dolly Parton funded the covid cure we should be singing 'vaccine' to the tune of 'Jolene' and though I can’t find your tweet pls know it’s ALL I've been doing this morning."
Dolly Parton helped fund the Moderna COVID vaccine, has donated more books than any person in the history of the planet, is one of the greatest recording artists and song writers in history but hasn't received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh has. https://t.co/SkPP7wXggu— Exiled From America (@chipinvegas) November 17, 2020
Can we name it the Dolly Parton vaccine— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) November 18, 2020
Dolly Parton is here to save the day, goodnight! #LSSC pic.twitter.com/QbVNibkE8E— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 18, 2020
Is there a greater American than Dolly Parton?— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) November 18, 2020
Our lines are open but...I think not. https://t.co/skl5kaGPrT