Dolly Parton ‘honoured and proud’ to assist Covid-19 battle

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Country star Dolly Parton has said she feels “very honoured and proud” to possess given money to research into one among the foremost promising Covid-19 vaccines.

In April she announced she was giving $1m (£750,000) to Vanderbilt University center in Nashville.

That was one among the trial sites for the Moderna vaccine, which is almost 95% effective consistent with early data.

Speaking on BBC One’s The One Show on Tuesday, Parton said she was “so excited” to listen to the news.

“I’m sure many many dollars from many of us went into that,” she told co-presenters Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas.

“But I just felt so proud to possess been a part of that tiny capital which will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world.”

“I’m a really proud girl today to understand I had anything in the least to try to to with something that’s getting to help us through this crazy pandemic,” she continued.

A Vanderbilt spokesperson said Parton’s “generous” gift was helping “several promising research initiatives”.

A portion of the singer’s money went towards funding an early stage trial of the Moderna vaccine.

‘Very promising research’
Her donation is additionally supporting a convalescent plasma study and research involving antibody therapies, Vanderbilt University center spokesperson John Howser said.

Convalescent plasma is employed to treat people that are battling a Covid infection.

“Her gift provided support for a pilot convalescent plasma study that one among our researchers was ready to successfully complete,” Mr Howser told BBC News.

“Funds from Dolly’s gift also are supporting very promising research into monoclonal antibodies that act as a short lived vaccine for Covid. Two of those antibodies are now being tested by a worldwide pharmaceutical firm.”

Vanderbilt’s plasma pilot showed enough promise for the US NIH (National Institutes of Health) to step in with $34m (£26m) in additional support to conduct a national, multi-site clinical test into the advantages of convalescent plasma.

Announcing her donation on Instagram in April, the star said: “My longtime friend Dr Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for several years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards that research of the coronavirus for a cure.

“I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage folks that can afford it to form donations.”
Appearing on NBC’s Today Show, the star added: “What better time immediately , we’d like this. I felt like this was the time on behalf of me to open my heart and my hand, and check out to assist .”

Following Parton’s gift Jeff Balser, Vanderbilt’s president and CEO, said her “amazing generosity may be a source of inspiration”.

He added: “She cares such a lot about helping others and that we are very grateful for her ongoing support. These funds will help us complete promising research which will benefit millions in their battle with the virus.”

The Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund was listed among the funders during a preliminary report into the Moderna vaccine that was published within the New England Journal of drugs .

After her contribution to the trial was highlighted on Tuesday, fans took to Twitter to praise the Jolene and 9 to five singer.

This week, Moderna suggested its vaccine candidate was highly effective in stopping people getting ill and worked across all age groups.

It’s said to figure during a similar thanks to the Pfizer and BioNTech candidate that researchers last week declared 90% effective after a separate preliminary trial.

Parton, 74, features a history of philanthropy that stretches back several decades. She has supported child literary initiatives through her Dollywood Foundation and has also given to and raised money for wildlife and HIV/Aids charities.

Source: bbc news

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