US singer Dolly Parton, who helped fund Moderna vaccine, gets 'dose of her own medicine'

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NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - American country music star Dolly Parton has yet another a new gig: Singing the praises of coronavirus shots and getting vaccinated on camera.

Last year, Parton donated US$1 million (S$1.3 million) to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, which worked with drugmaker Moderna to develop one of the first coronavirus vaccines to be authorised in the United States.

The US federal government eventually invested US$1 billion in the creation and testing of the vaccine, but Dr Mark Denison, the leader of the research effort, said that the singer's donation funded its critical early stages.

On Tuesday (March 2), Parton, 75, received a Moderna shot at Vanderbilt Health in Tennessee.

"Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine," she wrote on Twitter.

"Well, hey, it's me," she said to her fans in an accompanying video, a minute before a doctor arrives to inoculate her. "I'm finally gonna get my vaccine."

"I'm so excited," she added in the video, which racked up more than 1 million views within about four hours. "I've been waiting a while. I'm old enough to get it, and I'm smart enough to get it."

She also broke into song (naturally), replacing the word "Jolene" in one of her best-known choruses with "vaccine".

"Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine," she sang, embellishing the last one with her trademark Tennessee lilt. "I'm begging of you please don't hesitate."

"Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine," she added, "because once you're dead, then that's a bit too late."

Just before the doctor arrived to inoculate her - or "pop me in my arm," as she puts it - she doubled down on her message.

"I know I'm trying to be funny now, but I'm dead serious about the vaccine," she said. "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?"

"I just want to say to all of you cowards out there: Don't be such a chicken squat," she added. "Get out there and get your shot."

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