Dolly Parton announced on Tuesday that she has received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed with help from her $1million donation early last year.
The 75-year-old country music icon posted a picture of herself getting the injection, with a caption that read, ‘Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine’, singing ‘vaccine, vaccine’ to the tune of her hit ‘Jolene’ beforehand.
She received the shot from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the research center which received the million-dollar donation from the ‘9 to 5’ singer last April, as she called on ‘all of you cowards out there’ to book an appointment for a jab.
Parton learned that her money was used to develop the shot in November when she was listed as one of several donors as it was announced that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to be 94.5 percent effective.
The singer had initially said last month that she was holding off on receiving the vaccine, despite being eligible due to her age, as she did not want to be seen as skipping the line because of her donation.
Dolly Parton, 75, announced on Tuesday that she has received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed with help from her $1million donation early last year
Dolly Parton has received a COVID-19 vaccination after pledging $1million of her own money to help fund trials earlier this year. She joked ‘Dolly gets a taste of her own medicine’
Yet the singer finally went for a vaccine appointment this week, describing herself as ‘excited’, as she used the opportunity to encourage others to register, even rewriting the words of her hit ‘Jolene’ to spark enthusiam.
It was administered by Dr. Naji Abumrad, a physician and professor of surgery at the center who Parton befriended in October 2013 after he treated her following a car crash.
‘Hey it’s me!’ Parton said in a video posted to her Twitter account.
‘I am finally going to get my vaccine, I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting a while and I’m old enough to get it and I’m smart enough to get it. So I’m very happy to say I’m going to get my Moderna shot.
‘I wanted to tell everybody that you should get out there and get it to so I changed one of my songs to fit the occasion,’ she continued before beginning to sing.
‘Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,’ Parton sang. ‘Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine vaccine, because once you’re dead well that’s a bit too late.’
The country star added that despite her joke she is ‘dead serious about the vaccine’.
‘I think we all want to get back to normal whatever that is and that would be a great shot in the arm wouldn’t it if we could get back to that,’ she said.
‘Anyhow I just wanted to encourage everyone because as soon as we get back to feeling better, the sooner we are gonna get back to being normal, so I just want to say to all of you cowards out there, don’t be such a chicken squat go out there and get your shot.’
The video posted to Twitter then showed Dr. Abumrad administering the vaccine as Parton joked: ‘I hope you’ve been practicing’.
Parton, 75, has been eligible for the vaccine since December but held off as she didn’t want it to appear that she jumped the line simply because she made a donation
Parton said she wanted to ancourage ‘cowards’ to get their coronavirus vaccine
The vaccine was was administered by Parton’s friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, a physician at the center who she befriended in October 2013 after he treated her following a car crash
Parton has said last month that she would use her vaccine appointment to encourage Americans to receive the shout.
Speaking to AP last month the singer, who lives in Tennessee, initially explained that she didn’t want it to look like she was getting special preference because of her generous donation.
Asked if she’d received her shot, Parton said: ‘No. I’m not going to get mine until some more people get theirs. I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait.
‘I’m at the age where I could have gotten mine legally last week. I turned 75. I was going to do it on my birthday, and I thought, “Nah, don’t do that.” You’ll look like you’re just doing a show. None of my work is really like that. I wasn’t doing it for a show.’
Parton had said then, however, that she was fully committed to getting the shot/
‘I’m going to get mine. I want it. I’m going to get it. 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. I’m not going to jump the line just because I could.
Waiting: Dolly Parton waited to get her COVID-19 shot despite donating $1 million to development of the vaccination and being eligible as she didn’t want to jump the line
‘I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait.’ Parton told AP last month
Asked what compelled her to donate to coronavirus research, Parton told AP: ‘Well, I follow my heart. 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 to help find a vaccination.” 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.
‘I get a lot more credit than I deserve I think, but I was just happy to be a part of any and all of that.’
Parton said she plans to be around for a long time yet and she isn’t letting her advancing age slow her down.
‘I plan to be around a lot longer. I don’t have no plans of slowing down because the number says I should. I don’t pay attention to that. I wake up with new dreams every day.
‘I try to make the most of every year that I’ve lived. I’ve been doing that since I was little. I’ll be doing it until I keel over. Hopefully that won’t be anytime soon.’
On Tuesday as Parton recieved her shot, it was revelaed that a bill has been introduced to Tennessee legislature to officially make her version of ‘Amazing Grace’ the state hymn, adding to its ten state songs.
‘When the pandemic first hit, that was my first thought, “I need to do something to try to help find a vaccination.”‘ Parton said about donating to Vanderbilt University for coronavirus research. She gave a $1million donation to the center in April last year
Meanwhile, Parton has revealed she turned down two opportunities to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Donald Trump.
The music icon made the admission during an interview with the Today show on Monday – but clarified that her decision to reject the nation’s highest civilian honor had nothing to do with her politics.
‘I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill and then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID,’ Parton explained.
Parton also told the program that Joe Biden’s administration recently approached her with an offer to award her with the Medal of Freedom, but she has not yet accepted.
‘Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure,’ she admitted.
During her glittering 60-year career, Parton has stayed away from expressing her political opinions and, as such, is a beloved figure on both the left and the right.
Parton instead focuses on philanthropy, but insists she never got into charity work to receive adulation.
‘I don’t work for those awards. It’d be nice [to receive the Medal of Freedom] but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.’
Parton is one of the country’s most beloved cultural figures, with people on both the left and right of politics united on their admiration for her. She is pictured in 1978
Back in 1988, following the creation of the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Parton launched the Dollywood Foundation.
The non-profit organization first started out as a means of awarding scholarships to high school students, but has since evolved into much more.
Most notably, the Dollywood Foundation gave birth to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which is ‘a book gifting program which mails high-quality, free books to more than a million children around the world each month.’
According to Today, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has ‘donated ‘100 million children’s books in the past 26 years.’
In addition to her charity work, Parton has become one of America’s most beloved cultural icons.
The country music star has released 51 studio albums which have sold a whopping 100 million copies worldwide.
She has also become a beloved feminist figure, starring in several feminist films including 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias.
Parton’s lack of a Presidential Medal of Freedom has even raised former President Barack Obama’s eyebrows
During an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last year, the 59-year-old politician said he was ‘shocked’ to learn that Dolly had yet to receive the honor, calling it ‘a mistake.’
‘Actually, that was a screwup, I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she’d already got one and that was incorrect. I’m surprised, she deserves one,’ he continued.
‘But I don’t work for those awards. It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it,’ said Parton (pictured in 2018)