Country star Dolly Parton donated US$1 million towards research to find a cure for COVID-19, and it seems some of those funds have been used to help develop Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.
Back in April, Parton, 74, made the donation and announced the news via Instagram.
“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. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations,” she said.
The Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville is one of the trial sites for Moderna’s vaccine, which researchers claim is about 95 per cent effective against COVID-19.
In an interview with BBC One’s The One Show on Tuesday, Parton said that she was happy to hear the news about the vaccine.
“But I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she said.
“I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic.”
A spokesperson from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center noted that in addition to helping in the early-stage trial of the vaccine, the donation from Parton also supported a convalescent plasma study and research involving antibody therapies.