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Dolly Parton's $1M research donation helps in discovery of COVID-19 Moderna vaccine

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FILE: Dolly Parton accepts her award at MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 8, 2018, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Tennessee treasure Dolly Parton is helping the world yet again.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a $1 million donation made by Parton to Vanderbilt researchers has helped in the discovery of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

"When I donated the money to the Covid fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon," the country queen tweeted Tuesday morning.

Buddy Creech, MD, the director of Vanderbilt's Vaccine Research Program, says the center participated in both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine studies.

So far, experts say the Moderna vaccine has shown striking success in US tests. The company said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to early data.

Back in April, the country legend announced that she was donating $1 million to Vanderbilt to help in the research to hopefully find a cure for COVID-19.

“My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements toward that research of the coronavirus for a cure,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt toward that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”

Meanwhile, drugmaker Pfizer plans to test distribution of its vaccine in four states.

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