Dolly Parton Sent A Powerful Message While Getting Her COVID-19 Vaccine

Dolly Parton, the country music singer, songwriter, and star, donated one million dollars to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which worked with Moderna to help fund research for the COVID-19 vaccine. She proudly posted about her donation on Twitter on April 1, 2020, making some people think it was an April Fool's Day joke — but it wasn't. 

On March 2, 2021, Dolly sat down at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a beautiful navy blue shoulder cut-out shirt and received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine from Dr. Naji Abumrad. She sang a modified version of her popular 1974 song Jolene, singing, "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, 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." 

At 75, Dolly waited until it was her turn to get it, saying, "I'm old enough to get it, and I'm smart enough to get it. I'm trying to be funny now, but I'm dead serious about the vaccine. 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, if we could get back to that?" (via The Guardian). 

What is vaccine hesitancy?

Dolly also said, "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." There is a lot of hesitancy with the new COVID-19 vaccine with some people refusing to get it, according to a survey of over 5,000 people by Invisibly. The survey showed that only 53 percent of the people surveyed in the United States are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Los Angeles Times reported in December 2020 that about half of the frontline hospital workers in Riverside County refused to get the vaccine. These are the people who were first in line to be able to receive the vaccine. An ABC News/Ipsos poll showed that about 44 percent of those surveyed want to wait a while before getting their vaccine. 

Dolly hopes that her video will help people get their vaccine. There are currently three approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States — the Moderna vaccine, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. When fully vaccinated, the Moderna vaccine is 94.1 percent effective, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 95 percent effective, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85 percent effective. The CDC reports that the vaccinations are safe.