'I just wanted it to do good': Dolly Parton dropped $1 million on Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

Dolly Parton is more pleased than most to hear about the promising news about Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, having donated US$1 million (NZ$1.45 million) to the university medical centre that developed it. 

The country music legend announced in April that she would be giving funds to the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre to help finance its research efforts. 

"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 towards research of the coronavirus for a cure," she wote on Instagram at the time. 

"I am making a donation of US$1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations. Keep the faith."

This week, it was announced that preliminary trials of Moderna's vaccine for coronavirus had an efficacy rate of 94.5 percent. The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund is listed as one of the sponsors in Moderna's first report in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

In an interview with the Today show on Wednesday (NZ time), a delighted Parton said she had just heard news of the breakthrough that morning. 

"I'm just happy that anything I do can help somebody else. 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," she said.