The music legend turned 75 last week and became eligible for a vaccine in Tennessee. She thought about booking an appointment for her birthday but decided to wait because she didn’t want it to look like she was “doing a show.” She donated $1 million last year to COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which helped to develop the Moderna vaccine.
“I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money,” she told the AP. “I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine, though, but I’m going to wait.”
Parton said she’ll likely receive her vaccine on camera and share it with the public. She also pledged to share details about symptoms and side effects with her audience.
“I didn’t donate the money so I could be protected,” Parton told CNN. “I did it for everybody.”
When the pandemic began in 2020, Parton said she felt like she needed to do something to help find a vaccine. She was treated at Vanderbilt after a car accident in 2014 and asked if she could donate $1 million to vaccine research. Her donation has also supported several research papers about convalescent plasma and the virus itself, WebMD previously reported.
“I think I’m getting more credit than I deserve,” Parton told USA Today. “But I was just so happy to be a small part and to plant a seed that would grow into something bigger.”
Parton also expressed support for those who have lost a loved one during the pandemic. Her brother, Randy Parton, died of cancer last month. Her other brother, Floyd Parton, died in December 2018, which has been a “double whammy” for the family, she said.
“You just go around with a hole in your heart and a knot in your stomach,” she told the AP. “You have to go on. We’re a close family, so we’re supporting each other.”