Country music legend Dolly Parton, who donated $1 million to help fund the Moderna vaccine, got a dose of her own medicine this week. While she was being vaccinated, she recorded the moment, literally singing the praises of vaccines. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,” she sang, to the chorus of her hit song Jolene.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the 75-year-old singer has been making headlines for her efforts to bring comfort to others. Besides donating to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which helped develop the Moderna vaccine, she also released a new song called When Life is Good Again, addressing the pandemic directly and encouraging everyone to stay hopeful. “Be safe, be respectful, wear your mask, lead with love,’ she instructs on the song.
Recently the singer turned down Tennessee law-makers who wanted to erect a statue in her honour. “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” she said. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”
In the video of Dolly having her vaccine, the singer jokes with the doctor delivering it. She is light-hearted and good humoured, but there is no doubting the serious-intent of her message: “I know I’m trying to be funny now, but I’m dead serious about the vaccine,” she says. “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?”
“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.”