Music

Dolly Parton Receives the COVID Vaccine She Helped Fund, Challenges 'Cowards' to Follow Suit

A stellar example of Dolly Parton's generosity came on April 1, 2020 when the singer announced that she'd donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center's efforts to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. In the months since then, Parton's donation has helped fund the creation and testing of the Moderna vaccine, which the Guardian reports as having 95 percent protection from the virus.

Now, the country legend has received her first dose of the vaccine.

"Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine," the "Jolene" singer joked, sharing a photo of her receiving her shot.

In an Instagram video, Parton sings "Vaccine" to the tune of "Jolene" before dropping an even better joke about her Moderna shot's benefits being "a great shot in the arm."

She also explains that the wait for the vaccine she helped fund was worth it because "I'm old enough to get it, and I'm smart enough to get it."

More pointedly, she shares a message for those putting off getting the vaccine or uninterested in claiming their turn.

"I just want to say to all of you cowards out there: Don't be such a chicken squat," Parton says. "Get out there and get your shot."

Parton joins peers Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn in getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Parton took her time in getting the first of two vaccine doses. Earlier this year, she explained why in the most Dolly way possible.

"I'm going to get it, though," she told CNN. "I didn't want to jump line. I didn't donate the money so I could be protected. I did it for everybody."

Parton's kindness toward Vanderbilt paved the way for several research papers on the virus plus convalescent plasma studies, which treat people infected with the virus with the plasma of those carrying antibodies against the virus.

"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 research of the coronavirus for a cure," Parton wrote on social media.

In a follow-up tweet, the country legend wrote that she hopes her generosity towards the Nashville-based hospital "encourages people that can afford it to make donations."

The April 2020 news came a day before Parton's Imagination Library YouTube Channel launched Goodnight With Dolly, a 10-week series of Thursday night bedtime stories starring Parton as the "book lady."

"This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right," Parton said in a press release. "I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love. It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think."

Read More: Dolly Parton Pays Tribute to Longtime Friend and Duet Partner Kenny Rogers

Children's books in video series include The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, There's a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, Pass It On by Sophy Henn, Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovell, Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen, Max & The Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and Parton's own I Am a Rainbow and Coat of Many Colors.

This story originally ran on April 1, 2020.

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Dolly Parton Receives the COVID Vaccine She Helped Fund, Challenges 'Cowards' to Follow Suit