Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Was Partially Funded by Dolly Parton

The vaccine has proven to be 94.5 percent effective in early data

Dolly Parton CMA Awards
Dolly Parton attends the 53nd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

This week, Moderna announced its COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be 94.5% effective in early data, providing a glimmer of hope that an end to the pandemic is on the horizon. As it turns out, we have national treasure Dolly Parton to thank (at least partially) for that scientific advancement.

According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the country legend donated $1 million earlier this year to aid the research by the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation in Nashville, Tennessee, which led to the Moderna vaccine. The donation was credited to the “Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund.”

Back in April, Parton announced the donation on Instagram, writing, “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 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.”

Parton and Abumrad reportedly became friends after the singer was involved in a car accident and treated at Vanderbilt in 2014.

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