Dolly Parton Got ‘A Dose of Her Own Medicine’ — Literally

Grammy-winning singer Dolly Parton has given so much to the world throughout her lifetime, and her latest big contribution is saving lives — including her own. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University in April 2020 to help fund research for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Dolly Parton attends MusiCares Person of the Year in 2019
Dolly Parton attends MusiCares Person of the Year in 2019 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Dolly Parton helped create a COVID-19 vaccine

In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Parton wanted to help in any way she could. She donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s COVID research — the same hospital where she was treated after a car crash in 2013. She even made the donation in the name of the doctor who treated her.

The “9 to 5” singer appeared on Today in November 2020 and discussed lending a helping hand to fighting this public health crisis.

“I’m just happy that anything I do can help somebody else,” she said about her donation. “When I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good, and evidently it is!”

9 to 5: Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

Dolly Parton finally got her Moderna COVID vaccine

Now, with three vaccines approved for use in the US (Moderna being one of them), Parton finally got her shot. She shared the experience on Instagram with the caption, “Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine” — and of course, she got her inoculation at Vanderbilt Health.

In another video, Parton urged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible, saying “I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it.”

To mark the occasion, Parton even put a new spin on one of her classic songs. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,” Parton sang to the tune of “Jolene.” “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / ’cause once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late!”

Parton laughed and turned her attention to the importance of getting vaccinated. “I know I’m trying to be funny now, but I’m dead serious about the vaccine.”

She acknowledged that “we all want to get back to normal — whatever that is,” and smiles, “That would be a great shot in the arm, now wouldn’t it?”

And for those who are afraid of taking the vaccine, Parton had simple but strong advice: “Don’t be such a chicken squat! Get out there, and get your shot!”

Dolly Parton plays the guitar in a coat-of-many-colors-inspired dress.
Dolly Parton | Quantrell Colbert/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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Parton even dressed for the occasion

Parton is known for never leaving the house if she isn’t in full glam, and going to get the COVID vaccine is no different for her. She wore a purple dress with cutouts on her upper arms, giving the doctor easy access.

“I’m sure you can just reach down there and surely find a muscle somewhere,” she giggled. After it was over and the doctor prepared to put a bandage on the injection site, Parton joked that she didn’t want to cover up her beauty mark. “I’m joking; you do what you gotta do!” she laughed. “I don’t want blood on my clothes!”