Dolly Parton feels “very honoured and proud” about the part she’s played in coronavirus vaccine research after donating $1 million earlier this year.
Dolly Parton feels “very honoured and proud” about the part she’s played in coronavirus vaccine research.
The ‘9 to 5’ hitmaker donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville in April, one of the trial sites for the Moderna vaccine, which early data has shown to be almost 95% effective in the fight against the virus, and she hopes her money has gone some way towards helping to “heal this world”.
Speaking on ‘The One Show’, Dolly said she was “so excited” by the recent news on the vaccine’s success.
She added: “I’m sure many millions of dollars from many people went into that.
“But 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.
“I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic.”
A spokesperson for Vanderbilt set Dolly’s “generous gift” was helping with “several promising research initiatives”, and while a portion of the money went towards funding an early-stage trial of the Moderna vaccine, more is supporting a convalescent plasma study, as well as research into antibody therapies.
The spokesperson, John Howser, told BBC News: “Her gift provided support for a pilot convalescent plasma study that one of our researchers was able to successfully complete.
“Funds from Dolly’s gift are also supporting very promising research into monoclonal antibodies that act as a temporary vaccine for Covid. Two of these antibodies are now being tested by a global pharmaceutical firm.”
The 74-year-old country legend urged others to follow her lead when she made her donation in April.
She wrote on Instagram at the time: “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 that research of the coronavirus for a cure.
“I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
Jeff Balser, Vanderbilt’s president and CEO, hailed Dolly’s “amazing generosity” as a “source of inspiration” at the time.
He added: “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.”