Dolly Parton is a lot of things to a lot of people. The woman is a national treasure and one of the greatest living American songwriters—and now we learn that the same woman who can still blow young minds with 45-year-old songs like “Jolene” is tirelessly working to create a viable coronavirus vaccine.
Thanks in part to Parton’s $1 million donation, the promising Moderna vaccine is on a fast-track to development. The music legend was inspired to donate the dough after she learned a friend was making headway with a potential life-saving medicine.
“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 that research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Parton shared on Instagram earlier this year. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
This week, we learned that Moderna, the medicine being developed through that donation, is showing an efficacy of nearly 95 percent in clinical trials. The company estimates it could produce enough doses ready by the end of 2020 to vaccinate ten million people, and 250 million people by the end of 2021. The group is just waiting for FDA approval, and will apply for emergency-use authorization when they have enough study group cases who test positive.
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