At 75 years old, Dolly Parton could have already gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 — and put the mind of countless fans to ease. But in a recent interview with the Associated Press, the big-hearted star she says she didn’t want to “jump the line.”
Speaking with a reporter ahead of her first-ever Super Bowl commercial — which finds the country legend re-doing her famous workplace anthem “9 to 5″ in a spot for Squarespace — Parton once again puts the needs of others before herself. She’s about as active as a person half her age, with new music, a business empire to run, ongoing charity efforts and more, and says she feels healthy, too. So even though she definitely plans to get vaccinated eventually, she’s willing to let someone else go first.
“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,” she says, referring to her $1 million donation to make the Moderna vaccine possible. “I’m very funny about that. I’m going to get mine though, but I’m going to wait. 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,” she goes on. “I wasn’t doing it for a show. 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.”
When she does get the shot, Parton will join fellow country treasures Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson among the ranks of the safe and secure. They have both been vaccinated and also shared news of the experience with fans, hoping to encourage others not to be afraid as well — but neither of them are partially responsible the vaccines, like Dolly Parton is. Shortly after the pandemic reached the U.S., she made a donation to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University to help find a treatment, and says she just felt called to help out.
“Well, I follow my heart,” she said when asked why she made the donation. “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.
“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.”