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Dolly Parton on helping fund Moderna vaccine: 'My heart leads me where I'm supposed to go'

The country legend knew "something bad was on the rise" when the pandemic started, which prompted her to donate $1 million to help fund Moderna's vaccine.
/ Source: TODAY

Dolly Parton has reflected on the "small part" she played in helping fund the creation of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine by sharing what motivated her to get involved in the process.

The country music legend spoke with the UK's Absolute Radio about her decision to donate $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center last year that helped in the development of Moderna's vaccine.

"When the pandemic came out I just felt kind of led to do something because I knew something bad was on the rise, and I just wanted to kind of help with that, so I donated to help with that," Parton said. "Mine was a small part, of course. I probably get a lot more credit than I deserve, but I was happy to be part of that and to be able to try to stop something in its tracks that's really become such a monster for all of us.

"So I was happy to do that. My heart just kind of leads me into where I'm supposed go and what I'm supposed to do at the time."

Parton, 75, also spoke about her donation on TODAY last year, months before the vaccines were developed and available to the public.

"I'm just happy that anything I do can help somebody else, and when I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good," she said. "Evidently, it is. Let's just hope we find a cure real soon."

Parton became one of the first celebrities to get the vaccine in March, tweeting a video of her receiving the shot with the line, "Dolly gets a taste of her own medicine."

She has become a strong advocate for people getting vaccinated, particularly as the delta variant continues to spread around the country.

The "Jolene" singer said she is holding off on touring for now until the pandemic is more under control.

"We've got to let all this Covid stuff — we've got to let all the traveling be a little easier," she said. "We've got to all stay smart and be good."

Parton has kept herself busy by collaborating with best-selling author James Patterson on her first novel. She also is releasing new music that accompanies the novel "Run, Rose, Run," which will come out in March of 2022.