Country music legend Dolly Parton received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, and she seized the moment to encourage others to follow suit by singing a parody of her 1973 hit "Jolene." The 75-year-old country icon shared a four-minute-long video to social media documenting the easy process of getting her Moderna vaccine at Vanderbilt Health in Tennessee and broke into song just several seconds into the clip.
After sharing with fans that she is both "old enough" and "smart enough" to get the vaccine amid the ongoing pandemic, adding that she was "very happy that I'm going to get my Moderna shot today," Parton took a moment to urge others to follow suit, announcing that she "changed one of my songs to fit the occasion." Parton then sang the new, revamped version of "Jolene." While the original lyrics include, "Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / I'm begging of you, please don't take my man /Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene /Please don't take him just because you can," Parton switched it up a bit, singing, "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I'm begging of you, please don't hesitate / Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / 'Cause once you're dead, that's a bit too late."
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Parton received her shot of the Moderna vaccine on camera from Dr. Naji Abumrad, the Vanderbilt physician she first met in 2013 after a car wreck. In April, the singer announced she donated $1 million to fund research for the Modern vaccine after Abumrad informed her "they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure." In her Tuesday clip, Parton made another pun on her previous works at the expense of Abumrad, joking, "Well, it didn't take this long to film 9 to 5," a reference to the 1980 movie she co-starred in with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
"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?" Parton continued in the clip. "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!"
The Moderna shot is one of three COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA. The other two vaccines include the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With three vaccines now set to be distributed across the country, President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the country is now on track to have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May.