Dolly Parton Receives Vaccine She Helped Fund and Reworks “Jolene” to Celebrate

Dolly Parton

On Tuesday, Dolly Parton received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, which she helped fund research for back in April. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

After helping to fund groundbreaking research that led to one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines, seeing millions receive the vaccine and rolling up her sleeve to receive it herself, country legend Dolly Parton was in the mood for a little singing.

The western megastar, actress and theme park operator, who donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund — one of the groups that contributed to Moderna’s two-shot vaccine — shared a video of herself receiving the first shot, captioned “Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine,” complete with a vaccine ditty inspired by her hit “Jolene.”

“I’m finally going to get my vaccine, I’m so excited,” said Parton in the video posted to Twitter. “I’ve been waiting a while. I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it. So I’m very happy that I’m going to get my Moderna shot today and I wanted to tell everybody that you should get out there and do it, too.”

“I even changed one of my songs to fit the occasion,” she adds before breaking out into song. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate.”

Earlier, Parton told the Associated Press that she was going to wait until the Moderna vaccine was more widely available before she received her own because she didn’t want to look like she was jumping the queue.

Parton wrote the big cheque to Vanderbilt last April, when the hopes of coming up with an effective and safe vaccine seemed a distant dream.

“When I donated the money to the COVID-19 fund, I just wanted it to do good and, evidently, it is,” she said of her donation in the early stages of research.

To administer the shot, Dolly Parton called on long-time friend and Vanderbilt Institute researcher, Dr. Naji Abumrad, who thanked her for sending “a great message” to those watching at home.

Always fashionable, Parton attended the vaccination appointment in a shimmery purple knit sweater with cutout shoulders.

“I even have a little cutout in my shirt. I’m sure you can reach down in there and surely find a muscle somewhere,” she says with a laugh.

Throughout the process, Parton’s hilarious wit never wavers, with the star even poking fun at Dr. Abumrad after he drops a walkie-talkie while preparing her shot.

“I didn’t know he was going to be so clumsy,” she says, inciting laughter from her inoculator. “I hope you do better with my shot.”


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