covid-19 vaccine

Long Island Mom Who Gave Son's Friend COVID Shot at Home Faces Trial

The mom and teacher faces four years in prison after allegedly giving a COVID-19 vaccine shot to her son's friend, without the parent's permission.

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Call it the shot heard 'round the tri-state: A Long Island mom was arrested and charged after allegedly giving a COVID-19 vaccine shot to her son's friend, without the parent's permission.

Laura Parker Russo is facing a felony charge and potential prison time for injecting the vaccine into the arm of a 17-year-old inside her home on New year's Eve.

Video capturing the incident was shared on TikTok.

"You'll be fine — I hope," Russo can be heard saying as she administered the unauthorized vaccine.

NBC New York is not sharing the teen's name because he is a minor.

Russo told police she got the vaccine, which she says on the video is Johnson & Johnson, from a pharmacy that is now under investigation.

"It was almost treated like they were doing something funny and it’s not funny when you’re breaking the law and injecting children," said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

When the boy went home, he didn’t feel well and told his mother, who then called the police.

Russo did not speak to reporters on Friday, but her attorney says she was simply trying to help.

"She’s a graduate of Cornell, she’s been a teacher for 35 years and she’s got no criminal record," said attorney Michael Dergarabedian.

Russo is a science teacher at Herricks High School, and has been reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.

Dergarabedian addressed why Russo even had syringes at home to administer the vaccine.

"She’s got parents and people who live with her who are diabetic, and she’s constantly giving medicine," Dergarabedian said, but wouldn't comment on whether Russo thought she was qualified.

Russo faces up to four years in prison.

"Any professional teacher, lawyer, CPA knows that we are licensed by the state for a reason," Donnelly said. "No one should take it upon themselves to think, 'I know enough to do this.'"

Prosecutors say the teen and his family have asked for an order of protection from Russo, which she signed today. She is due back in court later in January.

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