Dolly Parton changes Jolene to vaccine as she gets jab she helped fund


Dolly Parton has been given the coronavirus vaccine she helped fund.

The country singer, 75, “even changed one of my songs to fit the occasion”, she told fans in a video filmed from Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee.

To the tune of her hit Jolene, she sang: “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.”

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Parton donated $1m (£716,000) to help pharmaceutical firm Moderna develop its COVID-19 jab.

Urging her supporters to get vaccinated, she said: “I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting a while. I’m old enough to get it and I’m smart enough to get it.”

She said she was “dead serious about the vaccine” and getting normal life back would be a “great shot in the arm”, adding: “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.”

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Parton filmed herself preparing for the Moderna jab as she told the doctor she had been “waiting since December”.

The medic, a friend of hers, praised her for spreading the word, saying: “Glad that you’re here and giving the great message.”

Afterwards she commented: “That didn’t hurt.”

Pic: AP
The country singer is known for her philanthropy. Pic: AP

So far, the US regulator has authorised three coronavirus vaccines for emergency use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

President Joe Biden has said he hopes every adult in the country will have been offered a first dose of a vaccine by the end of May.

Boris Johnson has made the same pledge for the end of July. The UK has been using the Pfizer jab alongside one from Oxford-AstraZeneca, but the government is still waiting for its first batch from Moderna and the medicines regulator is yet to approve Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine, but is expected to soon.

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Parton, who has enjoyed a musical career spanning more than five decades, is known for her philanthropy.

She established a charity called the Imagination Library in 1995, which sends books to children around the world in an effort to improve child literacy.

In January, she rejected calls for a statue of her to be erected in her home state.

Democrat Congressman John Mark Windle had proposed a bill for her to be honoured in the grounds of the Capitol in Nashville.

But Parton responded: “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”

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