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A one million US dollar donation by Dolly Parton appears to have helped fund the production of a promising new coronavirus vaccine.
In April, the country singer announced she had donated the sum to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, for coronavirus research.
This week, US company Moderna announced its coronavirus vaccine may be 94.5% effective against Covid-19, and Parton is namechecked in the preliminary report.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the report states that the work was supported by the “Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)” amongst other groups.
The development comes after Parton tweeted in April: “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 research of the coronavirus for a cure.
“I am making a donation of 1 million dollars to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) April 1, 2020
While she has yet to acknowledge her involvement since the new report on the Moderna vaccine, Parton’s fans have cheered the apparent impact of her donation.
The news even prompted one Twitter user, Ryan Cordell, to record a cover of Parton’s hit single Jolene, replacing the famous lyric with the words “vaccine, vaccine, vacci-ine”.
I couldn't resist trying it immediately, though I had to sing a bit more quietly than I typically would—for this tune in particular—because my family's all asleep right now. But you can see it scans, good enough for country at least! pic.twitter.com/joQL29e7Uk
— Ryan Cordell aka Ryan Cordrell (@ryancordell) November 17, 2020
Another, 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.”