Dolly Parton’s donation for COVID-19 research helped fund promising Moderna vaccine


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Dolly Parton’s donation in April to Vanderbilt University helped fund the Moderna vaccine that has shown to be nearly 95% effective, according to latest research.

Moderna announced Monday its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study. In the preliminary report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, ‘the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund’ is listed among the supporters of the vaccine candidate after she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University, which participated in its development.

The country music legend and East Tennessee native announced in April she was donating $1 million to Vanderbilt for research on a cure for the coronavirus.

At the time, according to Dolly’s tweets, Dr. Naji Abumrad had informed her they were making advancements on research for a cure at Vanderbilt.

The trial’s principle investigator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, confirmed to WKRN that the results were promising.

“You can’t tell if a trial works until you have enough cases to evaluate, and the cases are rising quickly. We’re getting an answer faster than we thought would be possible,” said Dr. Spyros Kalams said.

The results are based on 95 people who had COVID and were showing symptoms. Of those, 90 were in the placebo group. Five of those participants were in the vaccine group. There were 30,000 total participants.

The day after news of the Moderna vaccine’s success broke, many East Tennesseans and countryu music fans were quick to connect Parton to the funding and applaud her part in supporting the research.

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