By now, eight months after Covid-19 arrived in the U.S., everyone knows that a vaccine would be the answer to almost all of our prayers. And thanks to Dolly Parton, some of those prayers are being answered at warp speed.
"When I donated the money to the Covid fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon," Parton wrote on Twitter.
According to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Parton made the generous donation back in April. “What better time right now, we need this," she'd said at the time. "I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand, and try to help.”
VUMC used Parton's donation for clinical trials to reduce life-threatening Covid-19 symptoms, to find new therapies to treat and prevent the infection, and ultimately, to create an effective vaccine. Which is exactly what they've done with their partner, biotechnology firm Moderna.
It was just announced this week that that experimental coronavirus vaccine is nearly 95 percent effective at preventing illness. The Moderna vaccine will require two injections four weeks apart.
“(Parton's) work made it possible to expedite the science behind the testing,” said Naji Abumrad, a physician and professor of surgery at VUMC. “Without a doubt in my mind, her funding made the research toward the vaccine go 10 times faster than it would be without it.”
The other good vaccine news released last week was from Pfizer and BioNTech. The vaccine they are working on is reportedly more than 90 percent effective. Pfizer's vaccine received its funding from BioNTech SE, which was granted $445 million from the German government.