New York teacher accused of injecting 17-year-old neighbor with vaccine

Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 12:21 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2022 at 12:22 PM EST
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MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS) – A New York biology teacher is facing up to four years in prison after being accused of injecting a neighbor’s son with what’s believed to be a coronavirus vaccine.

The Long Island science teacher who has been accused of giving the 17-year-old a vaccine without his parents’ consent had her day in court, flanked by her husband.

Laura Parker Russo walked away after pleading not guilty to a class E felony, unauthorized practice of a profession.

“No criminal motive in this case,” her defense attorney, Michael DerGarabedian said. “There was only good that she wanted to come out of this thing.”

It was New Year’s Eve inside her North Shore Cliff home when Russo allegedly administered the vaccine to her son’s friend. The teen wanted the vaccine, his parents did not.

Russo is a 10th grade Herricks High School biology teacher, not a medical professional.

“She’s got parents and people who live with her that have diabetes, and she’s constantly giving medicine,” DerGarabedian said.

Russo has no medical license, according to the district attorney.

“As you are aware there was a video made and it was almost treated as if they were doing something funny,” Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. “It’s not funny when you are breaking the law and injecting children.”

Donnelly said an investigation into where Russo got the vaccine is still being conducted. The criminal complaint said she got it from a pharmacy. The vials are being tested.

“My concern is that there will be other copy cats out there,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly said non-medical workers giving vaccines without permission to friends and relatives are liable and will be criminally charged.

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