Laura Parker Russo, a Long Island schoolteacher, began her new year in hot water after being arrested for allegedly giving what was believed to be a vial of an approved COVID-19 vaccine to a teenager. Not only did Russo fail to seek permission from the 17-year-old’s parents, but she is neither a medical worker nor is she authorized to administer vaccines.
According to a press release from the Nassau County Police Department, the incident occurred on New Year’s Eve at Russo’s home at 55 Summit Avenue, where she “administered an injection of what is believed to be a Covid Vaccine to a 17-year-old male victim. The male victim went home and informed his mother what had occurred.”
Police noted that the boy’s mother “had not given permission or authority to have her son injected with a Covid Vaccine and called Police.”
Following an investigation, authorities discovered that the 54-year-old had no authority to give the young man the shot, noting that the educator was “not a medical professional or authorized to administer vaccines.”
Russo was placed under arrest without incident and later charged with New York State Education Law Unauthorized Practice of a Profession. She has since been released.
Still, police said they’re unsure on several issues, including how Russo obtained that vaccine or if the teen was monitored after the shot–a standard procedure after receiving a vaccine. Neither did they reveal why the teen was at her house.
In a clip initially shared on Twitter, Russo can be seen giving a shot of the purported Johnson & Johnson created vaccine–only approved for Americans 18 years and older. The teen, whose face is blurred, could be heard saying, “There you go, at home vaccine.”
Russo is reportedly a science teacher with Herricks Public Schools in New Hyde Park, according to the station. District officials said the allegations were not related to school and noted that “The individual in question is a district employee who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.”
She was issued a desk appearance and is due back in court on Jan. 21.
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