Science teacher arrested for giving Covid vaccine to minor

Teacher reportedly administered Johnson & Johnson jab - which is only approved for adults in US

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 04 January 2022 18:32 GMT
Representational: A teenager is inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine in the US
Representational: A teenager is inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine in the US (AFP via Getty Images)
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A woman in Long Island, New York has been arrested for allegedly administering a Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager without permission.

Laura Parker Russo, 54, was arrested on New Year’s Eve after police were informed that she had given a Covid vaccine to her son’s 17-year-old friend at her Sea Cliff home.

Ms Russo is a science teacher with Herricks High School and was reassigned from the classroom pending the outcome of the investigation, News4 reported.

In a video circulating on social media, the woman can be seen administering the jab and then cleaning the student’s arm.

The administered vaccine was reportedly the one from Johnson & Johnson, approved only for adults in the US.

The boy then went home and told his mother about receiving the vaccine, after which she immediately informed the police.

According to the Nassau County Police Department, the boy’s mother had not “given permission” or “authority” to have her son injected with a Covid vaccine.

The teenager reportedly asked for the vaccine at Ms Russo’s house because his mother didn’t want him inoculated against Covid at that point.

Following an investigation, officers said they found Ms Russo was not a medical professional and was not authorised to administer vaccines.

She was subsequently arrested and charged with unauthorised practice of a profession.

Police are yet to ascertain how she obtained a vial of vaccine at her home.

Mount Sinai South Nassau’s chair of medicine Aaron Glatt told News4 that besides being illegal, the injection could have serious consequences.

“An authorised, licensed professional should be providing vaccines to know how to give them properly to make sure if there’s a complication that can be dealt with immediately and very efficiently,” Dr Glatt said.

Ms Russo is scheduled to appear in court on 21 January.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five and above in the US.

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