NY Teacher Accused of Giving Minor COVID Vaccine without Parental Consent
Laura Russo was arrested on New Year’s Eve 2021 after police were informed that she had allegedly injected a 17-year-old with the Covid-19 vaccine. Russo was a science teacher with Herricks Public School in New Hyde Park. However, Russo performed the injection in her home without the school’s knowledge and was suspended thereafter. Russo is not a licensed medical professional and it is unclear how she obtained a viral of the vaccine. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine that Russo administered was only approved for those 18 years and older. The boy was a friend of Russo’s son.
The boy’s mother called the police after her son told her he had gotten the vaccine from his teacher. The mother had no consented to her son being injected with the vaccine.
Why Was It Illegal for a Science Teacher to Administer a Vaccine?
The circumstances may be more benign than initial impressions. There is no evidence so far that the boy was unwillingly injected, only that his legal guardians had not given their consent. Russo may have simply been trying to help a boy who was attempting to get vaccinated. It is unknown whether the boy’s mother was against the vaccination but the student wouldn’t have many other motives for voluntarily going to Russo’s house to get vaccinated.
However, it doesn’t matter how noble Russo’s intention may have been. Unconsented medical procedures are a form of medical battery and unlawful. If the boy was a minor, his parents still had the right to make medical decisions for him. Since the student was 17 years old already, it would have been more prudent to wait a year so that he could consent on his own.
Additionally, giving a vaccine is a medical procedure that requires medical training. A science teacher may be knowledgeable about vaccines but is not qualified to actually administer a vaccine. The medical profession requires medical training to guarantee that doctors and nurses have minimal education and training lest they harm the public. Any medical professional who breaches this standard may be committing medical malpractice. A non-medical personal engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine would not be subject to malpractice claims, but they would be in violation of laws regulating who may practice medicine.
Finally, there is no guarantee that Russo actually had a real vaccine. A real medical professional would be responsible for checking and ensuring that they have an actual vaccine. Obtaining a vaccine from a private home is arguably no better than buying a vaccine card from eBay, though the receiver may be losing more than $10 in this instance.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have sustained a personal injury through the unlawful act of another, you should contact a personal injury attorney. A skilled personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your case, go over your rights and options, and represent you at hearings and in court.