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Woman charged with injecting neighbor's son with vaccine

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 09:06:31-05

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Laura Parker Russo is accused of administering the vaccine without the consent of the 17-year-old's parents.

She entered a not guilty plea in court to a felony charge of unauthorized practice of a profession.

“No criminal motive in this case. There was only good that she wanted to come out of this thing," said defense attorney Michael Dergarabedian.

The alleged incident took place in her home on New Year's Eve. The teen apparently wanted to get the vaccine, but his parents were against it.

Russo is a high school biology teacher in tenth grade, but she is not a registered medical professional.

“She's got parents and people who live with her that have diabetes, and she's constantly giving medicine," said Dergarabedian.

"It was almost treated as if they were doing something funny," said Anne Donnelly, the Nassau DA, about a Snapchat video of the incident. "It's not funny when you are breaking the law and injecting children.”

The criminal complaint says Russo got the vaccine from a pharmacy. The vials are currently being tested.

“My concern is that there will be other copy cats out there," said Donnelly.

She says any other non-medical workers giving vaccines without permission will face similar charges.