“A dose of her own medicine”: Dolly Parton receives COVID vaccine she helped fund

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Less than a year ago, Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help her friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad, develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Vanderbuilt University. On Tuesday, the country music legend told the world she “got a shot of her own medicine,” as Abumrad gave Parton her first dose of the vaccine.

Parton tweeted a video of herself getting vaccinated on Tuesday, saying she and Abumrad have been “friends forever.”

“I thought it was only appropriate that you should be the one to give me my shot today,” she said.

Tennessee began allowing vaccinations for those aged 70 and older at the beginning of February. Parton is 75.

While getting the vaccine itself was the main purpose for the event, Parton did not shy away from using the moment to sing a vaccine-themed version of her hit song “Jolene” in an effort to encourage others to get vaccinated. 

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,” she sang. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, ’cause once you’re dead, that’s a bit too late.” 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center tweeted that, “Dolly’s generous support helped fund early research at Vanderbilt Health into what is now a vaccine that’s helping end the pandemic.”

Parton also used her platform on Tuesday to make a jab at those who may be planning to avoid getting vaccinated. 

“I’m old enough to get it and I’m smart enough to get it. …The sooner we get to feeling better, the sooner we are going to get back to being normal,” Parton said. “So I just wanna say to all of you cowards out there, don’t be such a chicken squat, get out there and get your shot.” 

Moderna was the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is more than 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 in people who receive both doses.


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