Tag: Vaccine

Dolly Parton receives second dose of Moderna vaccine, protecting her against COVID-19

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton receives the second Moderna vaccine against COVID-19. (Twitter)

Dolly Parton is officially fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning the world can rest easy once more.

The country music legend received the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Friday (2 April), meaning she should be immune to the coronavirus in around two weeks time.

The jab is particularly poignant for Parton because Dolly Parton famously donated $1 million to COVID-19 vaccine research back in the dark days of 2020, when a way out of the pandemic still felt like a distant dream.

The gay icon shared a photo of herself and three staff members at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, all wearing masks, and then shared a second shot of herself receiving the injection.

Dolly Parton ‘gets a second dose of her own medicine’ with Moderna jab

The “Jolene” singer tweeted: “Dolly gets a (second) dose of her own medicine,” and thanked Dr Jani Abumrad, Andrea Calhoun and Heather O’Dell at the medical centre for inoculating her.

Fans responded by thanking the gay icon for sharing the news with the world, with many praising her for showing the world that vaccines are safe and effective.

Countless fans also pointed out that Dolly Parton carefully selected an outfit with a cutout in the sleeve so she could get the vaccine quickly and easily.

Parton shared news of her first Moderna jab on 2 March, posting a video on Twitter of herself receiving the injection.

“I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it,” the 75-year-old said in the video.

“So I’m very happy that I’m going to get my Moderna shot today and I wanted to tell everybody, I think you should get out there and do it too.”

In the widely-shared video, Parton launched into an altered version of her classic hit “Jolene”, retitled “Vaccine”.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,” Parton sang in the incredible video.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, cause once you’re dead then that’s a bit too late.”

The singer went on to tell fans that she is “dead serious” about the vaccine and said it would be “a great shot in the arm” if the world could “get back to normal”.

Dolly Parton has been a longtime favourite in the LGBT+ community, but her efforts to get coronavirus vaccines over the line have cemented her place as the ultimate icon.

Strut, a gay club in Costa Mesa, California, has even unveiled an enormous mural of Dolly Parton as an angel to celebrate her contribution to medical research.

Melania couldn’t be bothered to appear in vaccine PSA alongside fellow former first ladies / Queerty

Melania couldn’t be bothered to appear in vaccine PSA alongside

Every living former president and first lady appear in a series of PSAs released today urging Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. With the exception of Melania Trump. And, of course, her husband.

The first PSA features Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter all receiving their shots. The second PSA, filmed at Arlington National Cemetery, shows former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“We urge you to get vaccinated when it’s available to you,” Barack Obama says, while George W. Bush encourages people to “roll up your sleeve and do your part.”

“This is our shot,” adds Bill Clinton, with Jimmy Carter delivering the closing line: “Now, it’s up to you!”

The PSAs were produced by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative for the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative’s “It’s Up To You” campaign. Why the Trumps do not appear in the videos is unclear, but it certainly fits a pattern.

In addition to pooh-poohing their roles as President and First Lady for the four years that Trump was in office, they wouldn’t acknowledge Biden’s 2020 victory. Donald never conceded and Melania broke tradition when she refused to meet with Dr. Jill for tea. They also didn’t attend the Inauguration and have kept low profiles since leaving Washington, D.C.

Last week, it was reported that the couple, who both tested positive for coronavirus back in October, privately received vaccines in early January, but they didn’t tell anyone.

During his appearance at CPAC recently, Donald briefly told “everybody” to get vaccinated… before taking credit for President Biden getting the vaccine.

“We took care of a lot of people,” he said. “We took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine.”

Meanwhile, Mlania hasn’t issued any statements encouraging people to get vaccinated, despite launching an “Office of Melania Trump” Twitter page. The self-congratulatory page, which has nearly 120k followers, has mostly been used to fire off tweets attacking the media for writing unflattering stories about her and to praise bigots like Rush Limbaugh.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.

Jolene given hilarious twist to celebrate coronavirus vaccine

Dolly Parton: Jolene given hilarious twist to celebrate coronavirus vaccine

Impersonator Kelly O’Brien sang the Dolly Parton “Jolene” cover to celebrate COVID-19 vaccine. (YouTube/ Anna Morris.

“Vaccine”, a parody of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”, has been released to celebrate the start of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Dolly Parton has become a global hero in the fight against coronavirus after it was revealed that she donated $1 million to help fund a promising vaccine.

On Tuesday (8 December), the day the UK became the first country in the world to start administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, comedian Anna Morris delivered the perfect celebration.

Written by Morris, and sung by “the UK’s number one” Parton impersonator Kelly O’Brien, the “Vaccine” parody features lines like: “Inject you in my arm and thigh/ I’d even put you in my eye / Come cure me with your needle, oh vaccine.”

Because of coronavirus O’Brien, who performed under the name The Dolly Show, filmed the entire music video herself at home.

She said: “We’re delighted with it. It’s so upbeat and positive and a great tribute to Dolly Parton, who’s done an amazing thing.

“Our dream would be for her to see it and even sing it. I think it should be Christmas number one!”

Twitter users fell in love with the “Jolene” parody, which was watched more than 12,000 in the first two hours, describing it as “the best, funniest and definitely needed thing to come out of 2020”, and “an antidote of sincerity to counteract Matt Hancock’s tears on Good Morning Britain“.

One wrote: “When I tell my grandchildren about the pandemic, I will show them this first.”

“Didn’t know I needed this absolute bop in my life until now,” said another.

Dolly Parton thinks the COVID-19 pandemic will make us all better people

Last month, in an interview with the The Sunday Times, gay icon Dolly Parton discussed life after the pandemic, and said: “When life kinda gets back to normal, I’m thinking we’re going to be better people.

“We’re gonna try a little harder. I have to believe that. I think we’ll be better after this is all over.

“I know a lot of people that don’t have faith. They’re the ones having the hardest time because you’ve got to believe in something bigger than yourself or you really do have problems.”

Extra! Extra!: What Do We Actually Know About a COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout?

Extra! Extra!: What Do We Actually Know About a COVID-19

This week’s Extra! Extra! returns with some LGBTQ+ news from both sides of the Atlantic; an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, the havoc it’s wreaking in so many areas of life and the vaccine arms race; and rapidly deteriorating situations the world over.

LGBTQ+ News

A New Day for Queer People in the South

Natalie: So, as a queer person living in the South, I want to be optimistic about its future…I want to believe that the end of the HB2 era represents an opportunity for our communities to grow…but the thing about this particular date that you should know…and the thing that makes me more cynical than the activists in this story: it could’ve happened 3.5 years ago.

As the article notes: HB142 was an attempt to “repeal” the bathroom bill that’d brought withering political and economic blowback to the state. It passed with a provision that prohibited local governments from passing their own nondiscrimination ordinances for a period of four years. What the article doesn’t mention is that before that repeal, there had been another compromise put forward: this one with just a six month sunset period. How or why Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina felt justified in passing a four year “cooling off period,” after rejecting a six month one, is anyone’s guess but it’s enough to make a person feel a lot more cynical about the South’s LGBT future.

Laverne Cox recounts transphobic attack in L.A.: ‘Never fails to be shocking’

Rachel: This is so heartbreaking and scary to read, and sobering to process during the same week of Elliot Page’s coming out. Even as trans identity becomes more visible and legible in the national conversation, we have to remain aware of the fact that visibility on its own isn’t a solution; and that in fact visibility can compound danger and harm, especially for Black folks.

UK court rules against trans clinic over treatment for children

Rachel: In a heartbreaking decision that marks the latest development in an extremely concerning trend of anti-trans ideology both culturally and in policy, the U.K. has issued a ruling that requires youth to get a court order if they wish to access puberty blockers, a medically appropriate option trans kids had previously been able to access to prevent unwanted secondary sex changes related to puberty before starting medical transition. The reasons given for this ruling — that puberty blockers are “experimental” with “long-term consequences” that kids can’t consent to — are inaccurate and fearmongering, inconsistent with well-documented science: that the number one factor in trans kids’ health and wellness in the longterm is affirmation and support for their identity, including socially and medically. The decision will be appealed, meaning this issue could land in the Supreme Court, a high-stakes possibility in the midst of a deeply transantagonistic milieu in the U.K.

COVID-19 Update

This Time, My COVID Patients Know How They’re Going to Die

Himani: An utterly heart-breaking read from a doctor in Italy about the second wave. The despair, bitterness and grief is just palpable: “In all this effort and despair, if there is one thing that pisses me off, it is the deniers. Until a few days ago, I was smiling at their bullshit. … Today I no longer laugh. A dull anger rises. Come on, denier, come and see how you die from COVID. Take reporters into hospitals to see patients who can’t breathe, the dead, or our dripping sweat.”

New Report Offers Clearest Picture Yet Of Pandemic Impact On Student Learning

Himani: So there are a few issues with this. First, it’s entirely premised on the belief that testing is actually an accurate measure of student learning which any teacher will tell you is simply not true. But, it’s the quantifiable metric we have so we use it because numbers make us feel safe.

Second and more troublingly, this article leads with comparisons saying that there was a modest drop in math learning and then follows up with a caveat that the most vulnerable students are actually missing from the data entirely. About half way down we learn that actually a quarter of students are missing from the data. A quarter! And who exactly were those missing students? As the NPR article reports: “these children are ‘more likely to be black and brown, more likely to be from high-poverty schools and more likely to have lower performance in the first place.’”

With such glaring holes in the data, how was the previous comparison worthwhile in the least? They’re basically comparing as much of the entire school population you would ever get to students coming from more resourced families to make the claim that “the pandemic-driven jump to online learning has had little impact on children’s reading growth and has only somewhat slowed gains in math.” That statement is only true for the students who were in the data, i.e. students who are in under-resourced schools, a greater proportion of whom are Black and brown.

So what is the real story here? What this article should’ve said is this: The latest testing data confirms what many have been suspecting all along. The pandemic appears to have the greatest impact on students from high poverty schools who are more likely to be Black and brown because many of them did not even take assessment tests in fall 2020 when their peers did. We don’t know how these students are faring academically or what kind of education they have or have not received since March. Among the students we do have data on (again, who are more likely to be white and from better resourced schools), reading growth has remained the same as previous years and math has dipped modestly.

[As a side note, to actually get at what I’m saying in the last sentence requires another analysis that isn’t reported on by the NPR article, and I don’t know if the testing nonprofit that did this analysis looked at that but just didn’t talk about it. In any case, now I’m getting way too far into the weeds.]

Framing is everything, y’all. How you say this has policy implications.

Natalie: The caveat of this study — “Many of the nation’s most vulnerable students are missing from the data” — is I think the most important part of this article examining NWEA’s research. It’s hard to square the rosy data with other reports I’ve seen during the pandemic like about 25% of secondary students in one of North Carolina’s largest school districts having at least one F. In Maryland’s largest school district, the situation is even worse. The same goes for Texas and California.

The kids are not alright and the most unfortunate thing? I don’t think that anyone has a good plan for how to make the situation better.

Mitch McConnell’s Relief Offer Is Actually Worse Than Doing Nothing

Himani: I feel like every article I read where Mitch McConnell’s name shows up in the headline (or where he’s mentioned in passing in the text) just makes me hate him more and more and more. The upcoming Georgia Senate races are our last hope of wresting power from the claws of this truly horrible human being. Phone bank, text bank, knock on doors, donate — do whatever you can because this matters so, so much for everything we care about.

Natalie: A few weeks ago, in this very column, we highlighted a story about a lawsuit against Tyson Foods for their capricious and malicious response to COVID-19 at their meat packing facilities. That article reported that managers were cavalierly betting on which of their employees would get COVID. There’s new reporting out that Tyson managers lied to interpreters about COVID-19 risks.

I mention all this to say: this is who Mitch McConnell is protecting. This is the hold up on the second stimulus that American families need so desperately to be able to eat and keep a roof over their heads. McConnell wants immunity for companies like Tyson Foods (or Publix) that forced their employees to work in unsafe conditions. He’s protecting the people who bet on their employees.

Like Himani said, those Georgia Senate races are crucial if we want to put an end to McConnell’s tyranny.

Justin Trudeau Promised a Feminist Economic Recovery. So Where’s the Plan?

Natalie: I will say, as someone who’s not that familiar with Canadian politics…and whose knowledge about Justin Trudeau comes from folks fawning over him over social media, this was illuminating.

The Vaccine Arms Race Ramps Up

Himani: The U.K. was the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine (the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which we shared some reporting on a few weeks ago), meaning the vaccine could start being given to people as soon as next week. Hours later, Putin ordered the start of mass immunization in Russia using the Sputnik V vaccine.

Neither vaccine has actually completed clinical trials (which, as we have covered previously can sometimes lead to devastating consequences). Also, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine hasn’t actually demonstrated that it doesn’t prevent transmission of the disease… I’m going to stop here before I start catastrophizing this situation because it’s just that kind of day, but… I can’t be the only person reading this and shaking my head in dismay, right?

Natalie: I’m trying to remain optimistic about the vaccine but, as we start moving into thinking about distribution — which may include paying people to get vaccinated — I’m starting to worry about how we avoid replicating existing systems and their deficiencies. Are the countries with the most money going to get prioritized? What does distribution to marginalized communities look like? How do we prioritize the incarcerated?

+ The UK has approved a COVID vaccine — here’s what scientists now want to know

+ Putin Orders Mass Coronavirus Vaccination in Russia ‘Next Week’

The Growing Threat of Terrorism

“This Keeps Me Up at Night”: Radicalization Experts Fear What Trump’s Fringes Will Do Now

Rachel: I’m not always a huge fan of discourse that compares harmful large-scale power structures to abusive interpersonal relationships, but at the same time there are I think some kernels of parallel truism there about patterns of power and control in general. One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot since election night (lol, election week and a half) is how abusers become most dangerous to their targets when their target has a chance of freedom from them; statistically, most violence to IPV survivors is enacted when those survivors were trying to leave their abuser. I think we’re entering a really dangerous period, and I’m concerned that there may be less attention paid and therefore pressure applied around the issue of far right domestic terrorism because some folks hope that a Biden presidency means they can stop having to think about this stuff all the time — a scenario where we have increased violence against people of color and immigrants, and white folks with political and social currency largely don’t respond to it because it doesn’t feel like it directly affects them.

Natalie: I’m scared about this too but more so because I actually don’t think the Trump family is going anywhere and, without the office as a constraint (such that it ever was), I think there’s an interest in continuing to sow chaos. Already, there are rumors of another run for Trump in 2024, his son running to head the most powerful lobby in Washington, the National Rifle Association and his daughter-in-law mounting a bid for the Senate in 2022. They are determined to keep their place on the national stage because they believe it inoculates them from facing the consequences of their illegal actions.

She witnessed the aftermath of the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings. Now she’s scared for herself.

Scores Killed In Massacre Of Farmers In Nigeria

“Making Peace with Nature Is the Defining Task of the 21st Century.”

Humanity is waging war on nature, says UN secretary general

Photography campaign shows the grim aftermath of logging in Canada’s fragile forests

Himani: These pictures were incredibly devastating. That was a giant, ancient tree reduced to a stump in a matter of what… hours? How many decades or possibly even centuries had that tree born witness to? How many catastrophes had it survived to be felled by humans for what? A few sheets of paper or maybe a table — both of which will rot some day in a landfill, unable to decompose and complete the cycle of death and rebirth? The world was in uproar over the fires in the Amazon rainforest last year but a first world country is doing essentially the same thing and it largely flies under the radar — is this really all that different?

Trump kick-starts oil drilling licence sales in Arctic refuge

Escalating Situations Around the World

Ethiopia’s unfolding humanitarian crisis, explained by top aid official Jan Egeland

Himani: I was hesitant to include this article in today’s round up because (1) I have linked a lot of Vox articles today, (2) we’ve talked about the crisis in Ethiopia a few times recently and (3) the interview is with a white European aid worker. However, I am including it in because Jan Egeland makes this incredibly important point while noting just how many refugees have fled Ethiopia for Sudan in response to the violence in Tigray:

People come every day, but fewer now than a couple weeks back, when there were more people coming to Sudan than a European country would get in a year. Sudan received more people in three weeks from Tigray than the United States is willing to take as its quota of refugees in a year.

It just goes to show that, in our time and age, nearly all refugees come from one poor country to another poor country. It’s the poor countries that give protection, give safe havens to refugees in our time and age.

Immigration and asylum are increasingly the catalyst for white supremacy to gain political power in Europe and the U.S. And yet while immigrants and asylum-seekers are villainized across the Western world, the Western world isn’t even doing its part to actually offer refuge to people.

And speaking of refugees….

Bangladesh Begins Moving Displaced Rohingya Muslims To Island

Himani: This latest relocation of the Rohingya Muslims is horrifying. But in the context of Egeland’s observation above, it feels a little rich for Western aid organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and the U.N. to tell Bangladesh it has to stop when these organizations and the powerful Western countries that rule them have done little to support the Rohingya Muslims or offer Bangladesh some kind of assistance in supporting them over the last three years. There’s about a million Rohingya Muslim refugees living in Bangladesh. Even during Obama’s presidency, the U.S. was accepting less than 100,000 asylum seekers in any single year. And obviously, asylum was completely gutted under Trump, but even raising admissions to the pre-Trump levels would not nearly address the scope of the problem.

China and Australia are in a nasty diplomatic spat over a fake tweet — and real war crimes

Himani: It’s incredible to me how Australia’s Brereton report has also largely flown under the radar in the U.S. (and I’m guessing Western, more broadly) news cycle.

3 Hong Kong pro-democracy icons were sentenced to prison in huge blow to protest movement

Himani: This is truly horrendous. Unfortunately, I think a lot of us who have been following the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong for the last year and more saw this coming.

The assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, briefly explained

The War Criminals Trying to Prevent a Genocide