A New York high school teacher was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly injecting a 17-year-old with a COVID-19 vaccine without his parents’ permission. 54-year-old Laura Russo, a science teacher at Herricks High School, is accused of administering the vaccine inside her Sea Cliff home on New Year’s Eve. She has since been charged with unauthorized practice of a profession.
“The individual in question is a district employee who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation,” Herricks Public Schools Superintendent Fino Celano told Fox News in a statement. “The alleged incident is non-school related. As this is a matter of personnel, the district has no further comment.”
Authorities said Russo had a vial of approved COVID-19 vaccine in her home, although it is not clear where she got it. Police were notified after the teen left Russo’s home and later told his mother what allegedly happened. The relationship between Russo and the boy was not immediately clear, but police say she is not a medical worker and was not administered to give vaccines. The boy’s mother did not want him to get the jab, according to the New York Post.
A recording of the incident was obtained by WNBC. “There you go, at home vaccine” a woman, reported to be Russo, can be heard saying in a short Snapchat video. The clip shows the woman preparing the shot for the teen, whose face has been blurred out. According to NBC 4, the woman appears to give the teenager a shot of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is only approved for Americans 18 or older.
Russo is due to appear in court on January 21.