A biology teacher in the US has been arrested after allegedly giving a student a vaccine in her home without parental permission.
Laura Parker Russo administered what is believed to have been a coronavirus vaccine shot in her living room, Nassau police said, despite having no medical qualifications.
The 17-year-old who allegedly received the shot went home and told his mother, who then alerted police and prompted an investigation that began on New Year’s Day.
It’s unclear how the Long Island biology teacher, who works at Herricks High School, obtained the vaccine or what brand it was, though The Independent reports that it came from Johnson & Johnson, which is approved only for adults in the US.
Footage of the incident has since emerged and shows Russo telling the teenager he’ll ‘be fine, I hope’, to which he responds, ‘Here you go. At-home vaccine.’
The teenager is said to have asked Russo to give him the vaccine because his mother didn’t want him vaccinated at that time.
Dr. Audie Liametz, vice chair of the emergency department at NYU Langone, told CBS News the vial could have contained a counterfeit vaccine and stressed that someone administering a dose needs consent, patient history to allergies, and medical knowledge of handling and procedure.
She commented, ‘You have to draw up the medication into sterile syringe with a needle and expel some of the air and give the injection properly.’
Russo has been described as a respected and talented teacher in the Herricks School District, though the superintendent has assured that she has since been ‘removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation’.
Russo has been charged with unauthorised practice of a profession and could face up to four years in prison if convicted. She is expected to appear in court on January 21.
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