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Tipsheet

School Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Injecting a Minor with a COVID-19 Vaccine

AP Photo/LM Otero

A teacher accused of injecting a minor with the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine on New Year’s Eve has been arrested, the Nassau County Police Department announced Monday. 

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In a statement, the Nassau County Police Department said that Laura Russo, a science teacher from Long Island, New York, was arrested following an investigation after police were informed that she administered an injection of what was believed to be a COVID-19 vaccine to a 17-year-old male. His parents had not given Russo permission to administer the vaccine to their son. The victim went home and informed his mother of what happened and she called the police. 

“After an investigation was conducted, it was discovered that defendant Laura Parker Russo is not a medical professional or authorized to administer vaccines and was placed under arrest without incident,” the statement said. It did not detail how Russo obtained the vaccine.

“Russo is charged with New York State Education Law Unauthorized Practice of a Profession,” the police department’s statement continued. She was released from jail and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, Jan. 21.

According to The Independent, the 17-year-old male was her son’s friend. In the meantime, Russo has been removed from classroom duty and reassigned, the superintendent of Herricks Public Schools, Russo’s employer, told The New York Times in a statement. 

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Russo’s neighbor, Peter Mandzych, told local outlet CBS New York that it “would send panic to the public if there are people out there giving false vaccination.” 

Another neighbor, Vivian Zampino, told CBS New York “I’m in shock. I don’t even know how to get access to it [the vaccine]. How is it even possible?”

Dr. Audie Liametz, who is the vice chair of the emergency department at NYU Langone Health, told CBS New York that the vial obtained by Russo could have been a “COVID counterfeit,” and that Russo needed consent, patient history to allergies, and medical knowledge to give a vaccine.

“The majority of states, including New York, require parental consent for minors to receive Covid vaccinations,” the Times noted in their report. “There is no statewide Covid vaccine mandate for schoolchildren in New York. But some private schools require vaccination, and New York City requires it for certain sports and extracurricular activities.”

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