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Science Teacher Arrested After Video Showed Her Giving COVID-19 Vaccine To Student In Her Home

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Science teacher gives vaccine to student

A Long Island high school teacher was arrested on New Year’s Eve after being accused of administering a Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager, despite not being authorized to do so as well as not having the consent from his parents.

Laura Russo, 54, was a biology teacher at Herricks High School in Searingtown, allegedly gave a 17-year-old boy the vaccine at her home in Sea Cliff, on Long Island. 

The teeanger then went home and told his mother, who immediately contacted authorities, according to the Nassau County Police Department.

Laura Russo was arrested and charged after unlawfully administering a COVID-19 vaccine.

Russo, who is not a medically licensed professional and should not have access to coronavirus vaccines, was charged with unauthorized practice of profession.

Police said that Russo’s son had a friend over and the friend proceeded to ask for the vaccine because his mother allegedly did not want him to be vaccinated against the virus at the time.

In video footage, Russo can be seen giving the teenager a dose of Johnson & Johnson, a vaccine that has only been approved for people 18 years and older.

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Investigators did not disclose where or how Russo might have been able to obtain the vaccine that she used in her home.

Russo has reportedly been removed from her position at Herricks High School according to a statement made by the schools superintendent, Fino Celano.

"The individual in question is a district employee who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation,” district officials told NBC New York.

She has since been released since her arrest and is scheduled to appear in criminal court on January 21. 

Unauthorized practice of a profession is a felony under the state education law that carries a penalty of up to four years in prison.

"Besides being illegal, it's just not a smart thing to do. 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," Mount Sinai South Nassau Dr. Aaron Glatt told NBC New York.

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that proper vaccine administration by a trained medical profession is essential for safe and effective vaccinations, whether it’s for Covid-19 or any other vaccine.

Majority of states, including New York, actively require parental consent for minors to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Despite many parents preventing their children from getting vaccinated for various reasons, medical officials have said that the vaccines are safe for children 5 and older.

The sudden spread of the Omicron variant has led to an increase in pediatric hospitalizations, leading officials to hope that more parents will vaccinate their children, especially since broad immunity cannot be reached unless minors are vaccinated.

This isn’t the first time an unauthorized vaccine has been conducted on a minor without the consent of their parents.

Last month, a mother in California was outraged after her son’s school vaccinated him with the Pfizer vaccine despite her never giving them permission to do so.

RELATED: California Mom Claims School Vaccinated Her Son Without Her Consent By Bribing Him With Pizza

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.