Dolly Parton, 75, wants the COVID-19 vaccine, but here's why she's waiting to receive it

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Dolly Parton was so concerned with the coronavirus pandemic last year that she famously donated $1 million to the development of the Moderna vaccine, one of the two therapies that have been approved by the federal government and are being administered to the public. She’s also been eligible for a shot since she turned 75 on Jan. 19, and yet she’s still waiting.

“I’m not going to get mine until some more people get theirs. I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money,” Parton explained to the Associated Press in an interview published Tuesday. “I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine, though, but I’m going to wait.”

The country music legend’s hefty financial contribution was revealed Nov. 16 when Moderna credited supporters, including the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund, via Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dolly Parton donated $1 million for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
Dolly Parton donated $1 million for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Parton said she considered obtaining the vaccine on her birthday.

“And I thought, ‘Nah, don’t do that.’ You’ll look like you’re just doing a show. None of my work is really like that,” Parton said. “I wasn’t doing it for a show. I’m going to get mine. I want it. I’m going to get it.”

The “Jolene” singer plans eventually to use her platform to talk about her vaccine experience.

“When I get it, I’ll probably do it on camera so people will know and I’ll tell them the truth, if I have symptoms and all that,” she said. “Hopefully it’ll encourage people. I’m not going to jump the line just because I could.”

Parton has said that doing good was her only intention in making the donation.

“Well, I follow my heart,” she answered when the AP asked about her motivation. “I’m a person of faith and I pray all the time that God will lead me into the right direction and let me know what to do. When the pandemic first hit, that was my first thought, ‘I need to do something to try to help find a vaccination.’ I just did some research with the people at Vanderbilt [University] — they’re wonderful people, they’ve been so good through the years to my people in times of illness and all that. I just asked if I could donate a million dollars to the research for a vaccine. I get a lot more credit than I deserve I think, but I was just happy to be a part of any and all of that.”

Another thing she’ll be part of is this year’s Super Bowl ad blitz, with a new version of her 1980 hit “9 to 5.”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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