Here’s How Dolly Parton Was Involved in Moderna's Coronavirus Vaccine Research

Dolly Parton
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NARAS

Dolly Parton performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Dolly Parton at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Dolly Parton is using her success for good.

Back in April, as the coronavirus began to spread rapidly worldwide, the country superstar donated $1 million to the disease's research at Vanderbilt University in honor of her friend and the university's professor of surgery Dr. Naji Abumrad. Turns out, that money helped fund Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.

Early data released this week shows that Moderna's vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus, marking the second vaccine with a high success rate. Phizer revealed early in November that its vaccine is 90% effective.

The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund appears on the preliminary report on the vaccine alongside other sponsors including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Emory University.

"As the scripture says, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ So I look at my life with that every day and think that God expects it of me,” she told Billboard of her generous donation in July.  “I expect it of myself, and I think people expect it of me. If I can be an inspiration, then I want to be that. That makes me feel good.”