Dolly Parton Receives First Dose of Vaccine She Helped Fund


Dolly Parton didn’t get any special dispensation when she received a dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. At 75, she is well beyond the priority age of 65. 

But it was still a commemorative occasion. 

You could say she got a taste of her own medicine.  The Queen of Country bestowed $1 million to Covid-19 research last April, with that money helping to fund research for the development of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.  

Parton documented the occasion by posting a video on Twitter encouraging people to get the shot. She then broke into a modified rendition of “Jolene” as part of the marketing push. 

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,” she sang. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, ’cause once you’re dead then that’s a bit too late.” 

Parton did get a bit of the celebrity treatment, however. Her dose was administered by Dr. Naji Abumrad of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. They have grown close since meeting in 2013 when Parton was admitted to the emergency room after a car accident. And that led, in large part, to her generous donation. 

“I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand and try to help,” Parton said during an April appearance on the “Today” show. 

Moderna is the second Covid-19 vaccine, following Pfizer’s lead, and comes with a success rate of 95 percent. “The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund” is listed among the funding and disclosures forms filed for the vaccine. 

Parton told the Associated Press in February that she didn’t want to get her shot until more people were able to get theirs. She wanted to avoid any appearance of cutting in line because of her celebrity status. 

“I’ve been waiting a while,” Parton said on Tuesday. “I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it.”

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