The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund was listed as one of the major donors in this latest breakthrough, as reported in a new article published by The New England Journal of Medicine. Earlier this year, the country singer donated $1 million to the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, after being told by her friend Naji Abumrad, a general surgeon, that there were “some exciting advancements” in the search for a coronavirus cure. (The two have maintained a friendship since 2014, after Parton got into a car accident and was treated at Vanderbilt.)
The $1 million donation also went toward a convalescent plasma study at Vanderbilt, which looks into treating COVID-19-infected people with the plasma of others who have antibodies, and several other research papers related to the virus, as reported by The Guardian.
“My longtime friend Dr Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards that research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Parton said in a statement on Instagram in April. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
Moderna will apply to U.S. regulators in the coming weeks and expects to have 20 million doses available in the country, reported BBC. The development comes nearly a year since the outbreak of the pandemic and amid a surge of infections nationwide.