Dolly Parton Helped Fund Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Yesterday, the American biotech firm Moderna announced that it had developed a 94.5% effective COVID-19 vaccine and that it plans to apply for emergency FDA authorization to start vaccinating the public. (The news came after Pfizer announced a 90%-effective vaccine.) It’ll still be months before a vaccine like that is widely available, but the news is still extremely welcome. And it comes with a fun little footnote: Dolly Parton helped fund Moderna’s vaccine.
In April, Parton announced on Twitter that she would donate $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help fund research into COVID vaccines. Parton said that she decided to make the donation after her friend Dr. Naji Abumrad told her that the university was making exciting strides in research. (They became friends after Vanderbilt treated Parton for injuries sustained in a 2014 car accident.) According to The Guardian, that donation helped fund Vanderbilt’s work on Moderna’s COVID study.
In addition to being a great American songwriter and a singer capable of making Stephen Colbert cry, Parton is a longtime philanthropist who has set up nonprofits like the Dollywood Foundation and the Imagination Library. We’re lucky to have her.