Dolly Parton, Who Donated to Fund COVID-19 Vaccine Research, Just Got Her Shot
Dolly Parton has officially received the COVID-19 vaccine. The country icon joined the legion of fully and partially vaccinated Americans on Tuesday (March 2), she shared on her Instagram account.
A photo shows Parton receiving her vaccine dose from Dr. Naji Abumrad, a close friend of Parton's, at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Naturally, she's wearing a mask that matches her top and is as camera-ready as ever.
"Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine," reads the photo's caption reads, a nod to the $1 million Parton donated in 2020 to fund COVID-19 vaccine research. Her money went to Vanderbilt's team, the research from which helped create Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
Parton followed up the photo from her vaccine appointment with a video of the big moment, showing the process from start to finish. She confirms in the clip that she did, indeed, get the Moderna vaccine (Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson also have similar vaccines available).
In the video, Parton stresses the importance of getting vaccinated for COVID-19, noting that she's "old enough ... [and] smart enough to get it." Later in the clip, she re-writes the chorus of her hit song "Jolene" for the occasion: "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I'm beggin' of you, please don't hesitate ... 'Cause once you're dead, then that's a bit too late," she sings.
Earlier this year, Parton -- who turned 75 in mid-January and, therefore, has been eligible for the vaccine in the state of Tennessee for a few weeks now -- shared that she was planning to wait a little longer to get the vaccine so that others who need the shot can get their doses first.
"I don't want it to look like I'm jumping the line just because I donated money. I'm very funny about that," Parton admitted at the time. "I'm going to get mine, though, but I'm going to wait ...
"I want it. I'm going to get it," she added. "When I get it, I'll probably do it on camera so people will know, and I'll tell them the truth, if I have symptoms and all that. Hopefully it'll encourage people ... [but] I'm not going to jump the line just because I could."
Throughout the pandemic, Parton has taken social distancing protocols very seriously, even declining the chance to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom because she didn't want to travel at a time when case numbers were high. From the onset, it has also been important to the singer to help those affected by the virus' spread however she could. That's what led her to make her donation to vaccine research, she explains.
"I'm a person of faith and I pray all the time that God will lead me into the right direction and let me know what to do. When the pandemic first hit, that was my first thought: 'I need to do something to try and help find a vaccination,'" she says. "I just did some research with the people at Vanderbilt [University] — they're wonderful people, they've been so good through the years to my people in times of illness and all that. I just asked if I could donate a million dollars to the research for a vaccine."
See Dolly Parton Through the Years: