Dolly Parton, 75, explains why she isn't rushing to get COVID-19 shot

Dolly Parton, 75, explains why she isn't rushing to get COVID-19 shot

‘I’m going to wait’: Dolly Parton, 75, says she won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine ‘until some more people get theirs’ despite donating $1M to vaccine development

  • Parton, who turned 75 last week, has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 despite being eligible
  • The singer donated $1 million to vaccine development at Vanderbilt University last year
  • ‘I’m not going to get mine until some more people get theirs. I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money.’ Parton told AP    
  • The music icon said she is going to get the shot and will probably do it on camera when she finally does 
  • ‘I’ll tell them the truth, if I have symptoms and all that. Hopefully it’ll encourage people.’ the Tennessee born star said

At 75, Dolly Parton is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but the country star says she isn’t in a rush to get the inoculation.

The country music icon, despite donating $1 million to vaccine development last year, says she wants to wait until ‘more people get theirs’ before she makes her appointment.

Speaking to AP, the singer, who lives in Tennessee, explained that she didn’t want it to look like she was getting special preference because of her generous donation.

Ask if she’d received her shot, Parton said: ‘No. I’m not going to get mine until some more people get theirs. I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait.’ 

Waiting: Dolly Parton has revealed she hasn’t yet got her COVID-19 shot despite donating $1 million to development of the vaccination

Parton found out in November that the funds she had donated to research had gone towards developing the Moderna vaccine. She found out with the rest of the nation after her name appeared among other sponsors in a preliminary report on the Moderna vaccine. 

‘I’m at the age where I could have gotten mine legally last week. I turned 75. I was going to do it on my birthday, and I thought, “Nah, don’t do that.” You’ll look like you’re just doing a show. None of my work is really like that. I wasn’t doing it for a show. 

Parton said she is fully committed to getting the shot and once she does, she’ll talk about it in hopes it’ll encourage people.

‘I’m going to get mine. I want it. I’m going to get it. When I get it, I’ll probably do it on camera so people will know and I’ll tell them the truth, if I have symptoms and all that. 

‘Hopefully it’ll encourage people. I’m not going to jump the line just because I could.

‘I don’t want it to look like I’m jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait.’ Parton told AP

‘I’m at the age where I could have gotten mine legally last week. I turned 75. I was going to do it on my birthday, and I thought, “Nah, don’t do that.” You’ll look like you’re just doing a show. None of my work is really like that. I wasn’t doing it for a show.’ Parton said of holding back

As of Monday, 26 million people in the United States had received a first vaccine shot, and almost 6 million had the second, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Each state has its own set of priority groupings for the vaccine roll out. But last month the US health secretary urged states to open up eligibility to everyone 65 and older and to adults of any age with medical conditions that put them at high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. 

Health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities were first on the list when the vaccine roll out began in December.

Asked what compelled her to donate to coronavirus research, Parton told AP: ‘Well, I follow my heart. I’m a person of faith and I pray all the time that God will lead me into the right direction and let me know what to do. 

‘When the pandemic first hit, that was my first thought, “I need to do something to try to help find a vaccination.” I just did some research with the people at Vanderbilt (University) — they’re wonderful people, they’ve been so good through the years to my people in times of illness and all that. I just asked if I could donate a million dollars to the research for a vaccine.

‘When the pandemic first hit, that was my first thought, “I need to do something to try to help find a vaccination.”‘ Parton said about donating to Vanderbilt University for coronavirus research

‘I get a lot more credit than I deserve I think, but I was just happy to be a part of any and all of that.’

Parton said she plans to be around for a long time yet and she isn’t letting her advancing age slow her down.

‘I plan to be around a lot longer. I don’t have no plans of slowing down because the number says I should. I don’t pay attention to that. I wake up with new dreams every day. 

‘I try to make the most of every year that I’ve lived. I’ve been doing that since I was little. I’ll be doing it until I keel over. Hopefully that won’t be anytime soon.’ 

Meanwhile, Parton has revealed she turned down two opportunities to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Donald Trump.

The music icon made the admission during an interview with the Today show on Monday – but clarified that her decision to reject the nation’s highest civilian honor had nothing to do with her politics. 

‘I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill and then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID,’  Parton explained. 

Parton also told the program that Joe Biden’s administration recently approached her with an offer to award her with the Medal of Freedom, but she has not yet accepted. 

‘Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure,’ she admitted. 

During her glittering 60 year career, Parton has stayed away from expressing her political opinions and, as such, is a beloved figure on both the left and the right. 

Philanthropist: Besides being one of music’s biggest superstars, Parton has also performed a great deal of philanthropy over the span of her nearly 60-year career; Dolly pictured in 2018

Parton instead focuses on philanthropy, but insists she never got into charity work to receive adulation.  

‘I don’t work for those awards. It’d be nice [to receive the Medal of Freedom] but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.’ 

Back in 1988, following the creation of the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Parton launched the Dollywood Foundation.

The non-profit organization first started out as a means of awarding scholarships to high school students, but has since evolved into much more.

Most notably, the Dollywood Foundation gave birth to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which is ‘a book gifting program which mails high-quality, free books to more than a million children around the world each month.’ 

According to Today, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has ‘donated ‘100 million children’s books in the past 26 years.’


On two occasions, Parton turned down an offer to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump. Parton says she is now not sure whether she could accept the honor from Joe Biden for fear of looking like a political partisan 

In addition to her charity work, Parton has become one of America’s most beloved cultural icons. The country music star has released 51 studio albums which have sold a whopping 100 million copies worldwide.

In addition to her charity work, Parton has become one of America’s most beloved cultural icons. 

The country music star has released 51 studio albums which have sold a whopping 100 million copies worldwide. 

She has also become a beloved feminist figure, starring in several feminist films including 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. 

Parton’s lack of a Presidential Medal of Freedom has even raised former President Barack Obama’s eyebrows

During an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last year, the 59-year-old politician said he was ‘shocked’ to learn that Dolly had yet to receive the honor, calling it ‘a mistake.’ 

‘Actually, that was a screwup, I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she’d already got one and that was incorrect. I’m surprised, she deserves one,’ he continued. 

Parton is one of the country’s most beloved cultural figures, with people on both the left and right of politics united on their admiration for her. She is pictured in 1978

Not for the awards: ‘But I don’t work for those awards. It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it,’ said Parton (pictured in 2018)

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