Less than a month after COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, Dolly Parton donated $1 million to coronavirus research at Vanderbilt University.
Seven months later we learn that Dolly’s donation helped fund Moderna‘s Covid-19 vaccine, which just became the second coronavirus vaccine with a stunningly high success rate.
Parton’s name appears in the preliminary report on the vaccine among sponsors like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Dr. Anthony Fauci heads, and Emory University.
The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus, according to early data released this week by the company. Vaccinations could begin as soon as the end of this year, although they’ll be made available first to high-risk groups like health care workers, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.
When Parton first made her donation in April there were just over 200,000 reported Covid-19 cases in the US. Now, there are over 11.2 million cases and nearly a quarter of a million Americans have died.
Parton recognized then the severity of the virus and urged her fans to donate to Vanderbilt Health‘s Covid-19 research fund.
Her gift was first used toward research for interim Covid-19 treatments while the vaccine was being developed, she said in an April appearance on NBC’s Today.
“I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand and try to help.”
Another reason Dolly Parton is a true American treasure.