COVID-19 Hero: Dolly Parton Quietly Funds Coronavirus Vaccine

Dolly Parton can add being an important coronavirus vaccine sponsor to her long list of achievements, including being an extraordinary singer, songwriter, Miley Cyrus' godmother, idol and many, many more. 

The well-adored diva donated a total of $1 million to the cause of COVID-19 solution, and the massive amount was done to help fund research on Moderna's most promising COVID-19 vaccine. 

Parton did not need the credit, as she didn't announce it herself. Not only is she a quiet hero like that, as she also did not even know about her own role to the significant development of the vaccine.

She only found out at the same time everyone else did, when her name appeared among other sponsors in a preliminary report on the vaccine on Tuesday morning.

This does not mean she is not happy with what she was able to do, though.

In a media appearance on Tuesday, Parton beamed with both pride and excitement at the news, and rightfully so. 

"Praise the lord!" she told "Today" hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. "I'm just very grateful that this is happening, and if I had anything to do with it, that's great," she added. 

She then told BBC's "The One Show" that she felt "very honored and very proud" for her little role in uncovering this essential treatment for COVID-19.

"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 shared. "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."

The vaccine took quite some time to be researched and made, as it certainly cannot be rushed.

Parton first donated to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's COVID-19 research work back in early April, when there were already around 200,000 cases of coronavirus in the U.S.

At present, there are already at least 11.3 million cases just in the United States, and nearly 250,000 have passed away due to the disease. The U.S. has one of the highest COVID-19 cases today, and the number just keeps going up. The new cases being discovered on the daily is increasing, a sign that efforts to contain it is not working in the country as much as it has been able to in other nations. 

The Moderna vaccine is evaluated to be 94.5 percent effective against coronavirus based on the early data released by the company.  

Vaccinations could start as soon as late December, according to the top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The high-risk groups like health care workers, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions would be the ones to first get the vaccine.

One issue analysts have over the vaccine is that it is slated to be priced higher than other vaccines. The news came one week after Pfizer and BioNTech found a similar level of efficacy of the vaccine they have created as well. 

In August, Moderna said it would be charging between $32 and $37 per dose for some customers before noting it is already in talks for larger volume agreements that would allow the price to be lower.

Back in April, Parton also made sure her fans contribute to the cause by encouraging them to do so. Even though everyone is literally struggling during the pandemic, her efforts were able raise more than $100,000 of its $250,000 goal. 

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