‘I just wanted it to do good’: Dolly Parton’s $1M donation helped fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine research

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(WJW) — It turns out that country music superstar Dolly Parton played a role in the ongoing development of the latest probable COVID-19 vaccine.

Back in April, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt for research on a cure for the coronavirus. According to her tweets and an Instagram post, her longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad had informed her they were making advancements on research for a cure at Vanderbilt.

Monday, Moderna reported that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate appears to be 94.5 percent effective. The preliminary report on the Moderna vaccine lists the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) as one of its many supporters.

Parton appeared on TODAY Tuesday and acknowledged her role.

“That’s what I understand this morning,” Parton said. “I’m just happy that anything I do can help somebody else, and when I donated the money to the Covid fund, I just wanted it to do good. Evidently, it is. Let’s just hope we find a cure real soon.”

Moderna’s announcement came one week after competitor Pfizer Inc. revealed its vaccine was similarly effective. The news puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S.

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