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COVID-19 vaccine funder Dolly Parton gets first Moderna shot

Country legend Dolly Parton got her first dose of the Moderna shot on Wednesday, March 3, and tweaked her classic "Jolene" to mark the occasion.

"I'm old enough to get it and I'm smart enough to get it," began the singer, before she sang a modified version of "Jolene" to emphasize the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I just wanna say to all you cowards out there...don't be such a chicken squat! Go out there and get your shot," she added. After a quick consult – whether she had a bleeding disorder or serious allergies – the doctor from Vanderbilt Health administered the shot, which Dolly said did not hurt at all, save for a slight sting.

"Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine," the singer wrote as a caption for the video – a nod to the fact that she helped fund the early stages of the research that eventually led to the development of the Moderna vaccine.

In 2020, Dolly donated $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which worked with Moderna to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, one of the first to get emergency use authorization in the US.

Even if she poured in a huge amount to help fund the research, Dolly herself had to wait for her dose, and she certainly came prepared when it was finally her time. The singer wore a cold shoulder top, giving the doctor easy access for the shot.

While many others poured their resources into the study, the researchers behind the project have emphasized that Dolly's donation funded it during its early critical stages, according to The Guardian.

As of March (in the Philippines), over 51.8 million individuals in the US have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a tracker from the New York Times. Of that figure, over 26.2 millions have been fully vaccinated or have gotten two shots of their chosen vaccine. – Rappler.com