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Teacher arrested for allegedly injecting teen with COVID-19 vaccine without his parent's approval

Pfizer's COVID-19 booster authorized for kids as young as 12
FDA authorizes Pfizer's COVID vaccine booster shots for kids as young as 12 11:45

A teacher in Sea Cliff, New York has been arrested for allegedly injecting a 17-year-old boy with a COVID-19 vaccine at her home.

The Long Island teacher, identified as Laura Parker Russo by Nassau County police, is accused of giving the teen the shot on December 31. He then went home and told his mother, who had not authorized Russo to give her son the vaccine.

The mother called police, who investigated. Police said Russo is not a medical professional and is not authorized to administer vaccines. She was arrested and charged with New York State Education Law Unauthorized Practice of a Profession. 

Russo was released and is due in court on January 21. 

She is a 54-year-old biology teacher, according to CBS New York. "The individual in question is a district employee who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation," the superintendent said in a statement to CBS New York. 

CBS News has reached out to the school district and police department for further details and is awaiting response.

It is unclear how Russo obtained the vaccine, or if the teen was monitored after the shot, which is standard for the COVID-19 inoculation. 

To administer the vaccine, the patient needs to give consent and the administrator needs knowledge of patient allergies as well as medical knowledge. "You have to draw up the medication into sterile syringe with a needle and expel some of the air and give the injection properly," Dr. Audie Liametz, vice chair of the emergency department at NYU Langone told CBS New York.

Three brands of COVID-19 vaccines are available in the U.S. but Pfizer is the only brand that has been approved for patients under 18. The vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 17 and adults over 18.

The CDC says "widespread vaccination for COVID-19 is a critical tool to best protect everyone from COVID-19 and COVID-19 related complications. 

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