NEW YORK - A Long Island teacher was arraigned on a felony charge after she was accused of illegally giving a coronavirus vaccine to a teenager.
Laura Parker Russo, 54, of Sea Cliff is accused of giving the injection in her home to a 17-year-old friend of her son. She pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Friday morning.
Video of the incident was posted on TikTok. Prosecutors are now using that as evidence for their case.
"Any professional, teacher, lawyer, CPA, knows that we are licensed by the state for a reason," Nassau County Prosecutor Anne Donnelly says. "Medical professionals are issued a license because they get the training in order to administer these vaccines."
Prosecutors say Russo is not authorized to give vaccinations.
A lawyer for Russo says she knows how to give shots because someone she knows has diabetes.
"No one should take it upon themselves to think 'I know enough to do this'," Donnelly says.
Nassau County Police say the boy had told his mother about the shot after he got it. The mother had not given permission to have her son injected with a COVID-19 vaccine and called cops.
Officers arrested Russo and charged her with the unauthorized practice of medicine.
Russo is a science teacher with Herricks Public Schools in New Hyde Park.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Fino Celano issued a statement to FOX 5 NY after her arrest: "The individual in question is a district employee who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation. The alleged incident is non-school related. As this is a matter of personnel, the district has no further comment."
Russo has been issued a "do not harass" order against the teen she vaccinated. She's due back in court next week.