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What a hero: Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine research

Turns out Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help fund research for Moderna’s newly announced COVID-19 vaccine.

Country music angel Dolly Parton has stolen our hearts again after it was revealed that she donated $1 million to COVID-19 vaccine research at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

The money did not go to waste either – as it was declared this week that the vaccine she pledged the whopping amount to, created by the biotechnology company Moderna, became the second US-based COVID-19 vaccine with a remarkably high success rate.

Moderna Vaccine
Photo: Dado Ruvić/Reuters

I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand and try to help,” she said in her appearance on NBC’s Today.

Parton’s name is listed on the vaccine’s preliminary report, alongside sponsors such as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

The iconic singer heard about the vaccine research through an old friend and Professor of Surgery, Dr Naji Abumrad, who treated her in 2014 when Parton was admitted to Vanderbilt after a car accident.

Parton originally donated in honour of Abumrad, and the donation resulted in Vanderbilt’s research playing a key role in developing the highly successful vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective against the COVID-19 virus, according to figures released this week by the biotechnology company, with the possibility of vaccinations beginning in late December.

The vaccine not only trumped many of its competitors in success rate but also in the fact that it can be stored in conventional refrigerators and freezers, making storage and shipping of the drug a lot easier.

Parton’s huge gift to the project sees a major advancement in the race for a vaccine, and it might just get everyone back to their 9-5’s just a little a bit sooner.