Earlier this week Moderna announced some impressive results for its COVID-19 vaccine. And, as it turns out, a generous donation from Dolly Parton helped make the vaccine possible.
Way back in April, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s COVID-19 research efforts, the country legend announced on Instagram at the time. That donation helped fund Vanderbilt’s work on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which just revealed promising interim results this week. The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund is even listed as a supporter of the research (alongside the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) in a preliminary report on the vaccine published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“I’m just happy that anything I do can help somebody else,” Parton said on Today. “When I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good. And, evidently, it is. I just hope we can find a cure real soon.”
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine showed promising early results, SELF reported previously. In a placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of more than 30,000 participants, the vaccine was 94.5% effective at preventing symptomatic coronavirus infections. The Moderna vaccine, like Pfizer’s similarly effective vaccine, relies on mRNA technology to prevent a protein on the surface of the coronavirus from infecting human cells. But we’ll still need to wait for more data analysis on both of the vaccines to know how effective they are at preventing both symptomatic and asymptomatic coronavirus infections.
A vaccine is just one part of an effective COVID-19 management strategy, of course. So we’ll still likely be wearing masks and staying socially distanced for a while even after the vaccine becomes available. But having an effective vaccine is a huge deal—and we can thank the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund for helping us get one step closer to that milestone.
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