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Thank Dolly Parton for Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine

The country star’s fund contributed $1 million to the company’s research on the promising vaccine

Dolly Parton fans are flocking to Twitter this morning to thank her for curing the coronavirus — and they might eventually be right given her role in helping to fund Moderna’s vaccine whose early trials have been 94.5% effective in combating the disease.

The singer donated roughly $1 million to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine research through the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund, which she created in April. A recent paper on the Moderna vaccine from the New England Journal of Medicine cites Parton’s fund as one of its major donors (check out the entire research paper on Moderna’s clinical trials here).

U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna announced this week that its coronavirus vaccine — developed with research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center — was 94.5% effective, outpacing Pfizer’s reported vaccine effectiveness rate of 90%. News of the Moderna vaccine caused stocks to skyrocket and citizens to celebrate once it was announced, and the drug is already heralded as a potential cure for the coronavirus though the testing results are just preliminary.

“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 that research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Parton said in April, announcing her donation on Instagram. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”

Abumrad and Parton met six ago when he treated her for injuries sustained in a car accident. This isn’t the first time Parton has contributed personal funds to medical research — she also has donated to studies on convalescent plasma at Vanderbilt University and funded other research papers on the coronavirus.

Twitter user Jonathan Katz put it best Monday morning when he said, “Why are we not discussing the fact that the vaccine with the good news this morning was partly funded by Dolly Parton? Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiiiiiiiiiine!”