Dolly Parton finally got “a dose of her own medicine” on Tuesday – or, more accurately, the medicine she helped fund.
The superstar received her first shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, developed in conjunction with the US National Institutes of Health.
—Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 2, 2021
“I just want to say to all of you cowards out there, don’t be such a chicken squat. Get out there and get your shot,” Parton said in a video of her getting the vaccine.
Parton then did a rendition of her hit song “Jolene,” changing the lyrics to sing “vaccine, vaccine,” and encouraged everyone to go get vaccinated as soon as possible.
While Parton, 75, qualified to get the vaccine in Tennessee in early February, Parton previously said she wanted to wait to get the vaccine “until some more people” got theirs.
“I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money,” Parton told the Associated Press in February. “I’m very funny about that.”
The Tennessee-born singer donated over $1 million to fund Vanderbilt University research on the Moderna-NIH COVID-19 vaccine.
Parton received her first dose of the vaccine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. It was administered by her friend, Naji Abumrad, a Vanderbilt physician who she met in 2013 after a car accident and has stayed close to ever since. According to the Washington Post, it was Abumrad who inspired Parton to donate money to Vanderbilt’s vaccine research, which contributed to the Moderna shot.
Parton’s philanthropy inspired Tennessee lawmakers to suggest erecting a statue of the singer at the state capital, to which the star replied with a humble no.
“Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton said in a statement. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone, if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”