Dolly Parton received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine — which she helped fund — on Tuesday, and the country icon had a message for people who are eligible to receive their own shot. "I'm finally going to get my vaccine, I'm so excited!" Parton said in a video she shared on social media on Tuesday of herself at Vanderbilt Health in Tennessee.
"I've been waiting a while. I'm old enough to get it, and I'm smart enough to get it, so I'm very happy that I'm going to get my Moderna shot today," she continued. "And I wanted to tell everybody that you should get out there and do it too." Parton also rewrote the lyrics of her hit song "Jolene" for the occasion. "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I'm begging of you please don't hesitate," she sang. "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, 'cause once you're dead, then that's a bit too late."
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"I know I'm trying to be funny now, but I'm dead serious about the vaccine. 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?" she continued. "If we could get back to that? Anyhow, I just wanted to encourage everybody, because the sooner we get to feeling better, the sooner we are going to get back to being normal. So 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!"
In early 2020, Parton donated $1 million to COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and her donation helped fund the Moderna vaccine. The singer's shot was administered by her longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who helped with vaccine research. "I thought it was only appropriate that you should be the one to give me my shot today," Parton told him.
Tennessee has been allowing vaccinations for those aged 70 and older since the beginning of February, and Parton is 75. "It didn't take this long to film '9 to 5'," she joked. "I'm still waiting! I've been waiting since December; I've been in line." After her shot was administered, an excited Parton exclaimed, "I did it!" The video's caption read, "Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine."