Kris Harris King
Dolly Parton says she’s feeling honored to have contributed money to research that has led to one of the most encouraging COVID-19 vaccines, so far.
In April 2020, the superstar shared on Instagram that she was donating $1 million to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
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The Tennessee-based center has been an early trial site for the Moderna vaccine which, according to early data, is 94.5% effective. Immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci says that vulnerable groups in the US—such as health care workers and the elderly—could expect to get the first of these vaccinations as soon as the second half of December.
Speaking with the BBC, the 74-year-old country music singer said she was “so excited” to get word of the vaccine’s efficacy. “I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she explained.
A spokesperson from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, John Howser, added that her generous donation is also helping fund a convalescent plasma study–used to treat people who are already suffering from the virus—and research involving antibody therapies: two of which are currently being tested by a multinational pharmaceutical company.
Parton’s donation has surprised few. The “Jolene” singer has a long history of charitable giving. Since 1995, in fact, she’s gifted more than 147 million books to children in need through the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Still, fans of ‘Saint Dolly,’ including Zack Braff, are spreading the love for her latest philanthropic success.
Cheers to that. And cheers to Dolly.
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