Long Island

NY Teacher Accused of Giving Minor COVID Vaccine Without Parent Consent Is Reassigned

The 54-year-old woman is said to be a public school science teacher in Nassau County, but she is not a licensed medical professional

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A Long Island woman arrested for allegedly injecting a minor with the COVID-19 vaccine without the consent of his parents is a public school employee in Nassau County who has been reassigned from the classroom pending the outcome of the investigation, the district superintendent told News 4 Monday.

Laura Russo, 54, was arrested on New Year's Eve in Sea Cliff after police were informed about the allegedly illegal injection to the 17-year-old. She appears to be a science teacher with Herricks Public Schools in New Hyde Park. District officials say the allegations are not related to school and did not occur on school property.

They offered limited comment other than to say, "The individual in question is a district employee who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation."

Authorities allege Russo had a vial of an approved COVID-19 vaccine in her home, though police didn't say where she got it. According to officials, her son had a friend over and the friend asked for the vaccine because his mother allegedly didn't want to have him inoculated against COVID at this point. The teenager told his mother when he got home that he had gotten the vaccine. She notified the police.

In a video obtained exclusively by News 4, the woman appears to give the teenager a dose of Johnson & Johnson, a vaccine only approved for Americans 18 years and older. Investigators want to know how Russo may have obtained the shot.

"Besides being illegal, it's just not a smart thing to do. An authorized, licensed professional should be providing vaccines to know how to give them properly to make sure if there's a complication that can be dealt with immediately and very efficiently," said Mount Sinai South Nassau Dr. Aaron Glatt.

Russo is not a medical professional, nor is her husband, according to officials. She was issued a desk appearance and is due back in court later this month.

She declined to comment on the allegations.

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