Queen Latifah poses for a photo with Essex County Commissioner President Wayne Richardson and Essex County College President Augustine Boakye. The actor got a COVID-19 vaccination in Newark, NJ on March 9, 2021. (Photo: Aziza Kibibi)
NEWARK, NJ — A Hollywood legend has come back to Essex County to make a heartfelt plea to her former neighbors: get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Queen Latifah, a Newark native who grew up in East Orange, returned to her old stomping grounds on Tuesday evening to get a shot. It was part of an effort to boost public confidence in vaccinations, according to local officials, who welcomed the actor, rapper and producer back with open arms.
Latifah rolled up her sleeve at the COVID-19 vaccine site at Essex County College in Newark, getting a dose of the Moderna version. The site – along with four others run by Essex County – has seen praise as a “nationwide model” for getting shots into people’s arms.
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The celebrity brought a few family and crew members along with her on Tuesday to get their vaccines as well.
“To see someone in a hospital on a ventilator is much more frightening than what’s going to happen getting this shot,” Latifah said during a news conference. Latifa, who has been filming for her new series, “The Equalizer,” in Newark and North Jersey, said her role on the set was a big reason why she got vaccinated.
“Every time I go to work, I feel like I’m responsible for hundreds of peoples’ lives,” she said.
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka thanked the actor for her contribution to the vaccination effort.
“People look up to Queen Latifah and all that she has accomplished professionally,” DiVincenzo said. “By partnering with her, we are hoping to demonstrate to residents in our urban areas how safe getting the vaccination is.”
“Our efforts will only be successful if at least 70 percent of the population receives the vaccination and herd immunity is developed,” he added.
Essex County Commissioner President Wayne Richardson also thanked Latifah, sharing photos of her visit on social media.
QUEEN LATIFAH: ‘THE EQUALIZER’
Latifa has recently gotten a chance to revisit New Jersey, filming several scenes for “The Equalizer” in her former hometown. Fans of the show can rejoice – it’ll be returning for a second season, its star reported Tuesday.
Newark officials have been tweeting photos of the show and challenging residents to guess where they were filmed in the Brick City. Latifah’s choice to film in Newark has inspired pride and thanks from several Essex County residents.
Looking for more information on the Essex County Board of Commissioners? The Essex County Commissioners Mobile App is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores.
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For Additional Information:
Kyalo Mulumba, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)