Dolly Parton Is 'Very Proud' of Her Part in Development of Coronavirus Vaccine

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 said she was "just shocked" when she heard the news that a $1 million donation she made to fund research into a COVID-19 vaccine has panned out.

"I’m a very proud girl today to know that I had anything at all to do with something that’s gonna help us through this crazy pandemic," Parton told BBC's The One Show on Tuesday (Nov. 17).

Parton was speaking about the donation she made to the disease's research at Vanderbilt University for what came to be called the "Dolly Parton COVID Fund" in April, as the novel coronavirus first began to spread worldwide.

Parton made the donation in honor of her friend and the university's professor of surgery, Dr. Naji Abumrad, with the money going to help fund Moderna's promising 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.

"I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that hopefully will grow into something great and help to heal this world. Lord knows we need it, don't we?," Parton told the BBC program's hosts.

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.

Watch the interview below.

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