The Long Island mother who was arrested and charged after allegedly giving a COVID-19 vaccine shot to her son's friend — without the parent's permission — will avoid jail time after accepting a plea bargain.
It was the shot heard 'round the tri-state: Laura Parker Russo sparked outrage when video of her injecting the vaccine into the arm of a 17-year-old inside her home on New Year's Eve was shared on TikTok in January.
"You'll be fine — I hope," Russo could be heard saying as she administered the unauthorized vaccine. She told police she got the vaccine, which she says on the video is Johnson & Johnson, from a pharmacy that is now under investigation.
But on Wednesday, there was a different type of anger, as the teen's mother was livid that Russo will walk away with no criminal record.
"She violated him, she manipulated him, talked him into doing something he shouldn’t have been doing, that wasn’t legal," said mom Lisa Doyle.
NBC New York is not sharing the teen's name because he is a minor. Doyle said that the family wasn't for or against the vaccine itself, saying "we were just kind of waiting, I wasn’t in a rush to get him the vaccine."
When the boy went home, he didn’t feel well and told his mother, who then called the police.
Police arrested Russo after that, but Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly offered a plea deal that will likely see Russo get 50 hours of community service in lieu of a sentence or probation.
Doyle said she was speaking out now because she feels strongly that Russo should be able to continue teaching and working with children. Russo is a science teacher at Herricks High School, and had been reassigned.
"I don’t think her judgement is there if she thinks that this was okay," Doyle said. "I’m a teacher, I can do anything, I’m above the law — what else can she do?”
Russo's attorney told NBC New York over the phone that he believes it was a fair and just offer when looking at the teacher's personal and professional record.
The Doyle family said they intend to file a civil lawsuit against Russo, who will next appear in court in June.