NBC New York reports Laura Russo, 54, a science teacher with Herricks Public Schools in New Hyde Park, was arrested on New Year’s Eve at her Sea Cliff home after police learned of the incident, evidently captured via social media. Russo is not a medical professional or authorized to administer vaccines. It was also Johnson & Johnson’s shot, which is not approved for people under 18.
Officials told NBC New York that Russo “has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.”
According to police, Russo’s son had a friend visiting who asked her for the vaccine because his mother did not want him to get it. The friend’s mother called the police afterward, informing authorities she had not given permission for her son to be injected with the vaccine. It is unclear how Russo may have obtained the shot.
“Besides being illegal, it’s just not a smart thing to do,” Mount Sinai South Nassau Dr. Aaron Glatt told NBC. “An authorized, 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.”
Russo has been charged with unauthorized practice of a profession under New York state education law. She is due back in court later this month.