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November 18, 2020

Internet celebrates Dolly Parton, whose $1 million COVID-19 vaccine research donation partially funded Moderna

The country singer donated the large sum because she 'just wanted it to do good'

Earlier this year, country music legend Dolly Parton donated $1 million towards coronavirus vaccine research, which ended up backing one company whose vaccine has proven 95% effective.

The internet cheered the "Jolene" singer-songwriter on Tuesday, when the news of Parton's large donation began trending on Twitter, after "the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund" was found listed among the agencies and universities funding the Moderna vaccine.

The company's vaccine, along with that of Pfizer's, may be among the first to receive federal approval by the end of this year.

Upon learning of Parton's donation, Twitter users said they should replace the "Jolene" in Parton's hit, with the word "vaccine," among other words of encouragement for the 74-year-old Nashville icon. 

In an interview with The Today Show, Parton said, "I was just happy that anything I do can help somebody else."

"When I donated the money to the COVID fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon," Parton said.  

Parton donated the money to the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation in Nashville, where she had been treated for injuries following a 2013 car crash. 

During treatment, she bonded with a doctor there who later inspired Parton to contribute her large donation to vaccine research conducted by Vanderbilt. 

The donation, which Parton posted about on April 1, 2020, partially funded Moderna itself. Since the contribution came so early on, it may have even been critical to funding vaccine research during the early stages of development.

Moderna, a U.S. drugmaker, said it plans to have enough safety data to apply for emergency use authorization with the FDA in the next few weeks. If approved, the company plans to make 20 million doses ready to disseminate by the end of 2020 to Americans.

Below is a round-up of what "9 to 5" fans and other Twitter users said of the Parton-vaccine news, including suggestions to nominate the singer for president, or simply name the vaccine after her. 

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