Dolly Parton Gets the COVID-19 Vaccine She Helped Fund

Hero worship is a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to politicians and celebrities. But while most of our idols end up letting us down, a select few consistently prove worthy of our esteem. One such rare gem: Dolly Parton. Gift to the screen, stage, and radio waves. Friend to all underdogs. Lovely conversation companion at any pizza parlor. And part of the reason why we’ve got vaccines at the ready.

If you hadn’t heard, Parton donated a million dollars in 2020 to coronavirus research. Some of that cash found its way into the hands of Moderna; the pharmaceutical company has since become one of the first to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. (You can read a little more about her contribution over at Forbes.) Justly, Moderna has now supplied Parton herself with her first dose. Dolly shared the good news— with a song (and some encouraging words)—on Twitter.

The first of Parton’s tweets on Tuesday took form as a photo revealing that her time had come for vaccination. Following that, Dolly shared a video showcasing her entire vaccine process. For her, this involved a message to fans expressing the importance of the vaccine and COVID-safety. It also involved a quick reworking of her 1974 folk ballad “Jolene” to suit the occasion.

Parton received her vaccine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, based in her home state of Tennessee. In the video, she introduced the doctor administering her shot: Dr. Naji Abumrad, with whom she traded her typical jovial banter. Parton remained upbeat and silly throughout the video, joking about the situation and teasing her doc pal. But she mentioned feeling “deadly serious” about the subject en masse.

Dolly Parton and Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias.

TriStar Pictures

Right around the same time that Parton’s video hit Twitter, President Biden extended a relevant message. As he tweeted yesterday, Biden expects that every adult in the US will have access to the vaccine by the beginning of May; this is earlier than previously anticipated. We’ll see how things progress; for now, we’re happy for Dolly.

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