In April, the Country Music Hall of Fame member donated $1 million to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center toward Covid-19 research, funding that, through an early-stage trial, ultimately helped the development of Moderna’s recently announced vaccine. “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 toward research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Parton wrote on Instagram at the time.
A representative for Parton did not immediately respond to request for comment.
A preliminary trial of the Moderna vaccine, a mRNA vaccine that was developed together with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reported 95 percent effectiveness in preventing the virus. The company has estimated it could have enough doses ready by the end of 2020 to vaccinate 10 million people, and 250 million people by the end of 2021. The group is still awaiting FDA approval and will apply for emergency-use authorization when they have enough study group cases who test positive.
Moderna’s vaccine was a second hopeful announcement in recent days, following a similar announcement from Pfizer one week earlier. Both treatments are aiming to be available to high-risk patients by the end of 2020.
Parton, whose philanthropic efforts also include the childhood literacy program Imagination Library, has remained busy with her music and on-screen projects in 2020 despite the pandemic. On October 2nd, she released the holiday album A Holly Dolly Christmas, and on November 22nd she’s slated to appear in the film Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, available on Netflix.