In April, Dolly Parton donated $1 million to COVID-19 research at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. That donation has partially funded research that has helped biotechnology company Moderna develop one of the current leading COVID-19 vaccines, which has proven to be 94.5% effective.
The New England Journal of Medicine listed the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund from Vanderbilt as among the supporters of the vaccine. Moderna has stated it could potentially produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021 and is applying for Emergency Use Authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration.
“My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Parton said of the donation back in April via Twitter. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
The donation is just one of many of Parton’s philanthropical efforts. She launched the Imagination Library in 1995; the program has since gifted more than 135 million books to children and is currently gifting books to 1.5 million children around the world each month. In 2017, Parton donated $3 million to those affected by wildfires in her home county of Sevier County, Tennessee, also raised funds via the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon, and provided $1,000 each month to Sevier County families whose primary residences were destroyed by the fires.
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