Dolly Parton, the country music legend beloved by all, is working way more than 9 to 5 to make sure that as many people get the coronavirus vaccine as possible. While in Nashville on Tuesday, she got the Moderna vaccine, a treatment she helped fund, and released a special video of the process.
"Well, hey, it's me," she says, addressing her fans — which is everyone — in the video. "I'm finally gonna get my vaccine. I'm so excited. I've been waiting a while. I'm old enough to get it, and I'm smart enough to get it." She posted the video on Twitter with the caption "Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine." The video quickly racked up more than a million views within the first few hours after posting it (obviously).
Not only does she walk the walk, but Parton even wrote a song about it. "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine," Parton sang, giving her famous song "Jolene" a viral rewrite. "I'm begging of you please don't hesitate. Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, because once you're dead, then that's a bit too late.”
Before the doctor arrived to give her the inoculation, Parton doubled down on her message: "I know I'm trying to be funny now, but I'm dead serious about the vaccine," Parton continued. "I think we all want to get back to normal — whatever that is — and that would be a great shot in the arm, wouldn't it? I just want to say to all of you cowards out there: Don't be such a chicken squat. Get out there and get your shot."
It's comforting to see Parton get the vaccine, which she actually helped fund. Last year, the singer donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Together, with drug maker Moderna, it developed one of the first coronavirus vaccines to be authorized for use in the United States. According to the leader of the research effort, Dr. Mark Denison, it was the Dolly Parton's donation that funded the project in its critical early stages before the federal government invested $1 billion to create and test the vaccine. Not only that, last month Parton told USA Today that even though she likely could jump the line to get the vaccine — she did play a big part in funding it after all — she planned to wait her turn just like everyone else.
For someone whose fame spreads as far and as wide as Parton to be sending such a strong message about the vaccine is so important. There are few people who are universally beloved by so many different communities and demographics in the U.S., and it seems Parton knows the power of her influence — and she is using it for good. What we want to know is how many people will be humming the tune to "Jolene" and hearing vaccine now? We suspect quite a few.