A Long Island high school teacher pleaded not guilty on Friday after she allegedly illegally administered a COVID-19 vaccine at home to her son’s friend, WABC reports. A Snapchat video allegedly captured Laura Parker Russo, a biology teacher, giving her son’s 17-year-old friend what she said was the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The boy later felt unwell and told his mom, who called the police. “It was almost treated like they were doing something funny and it’s not funny when you’re breaking the law and injecting children,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. The one-shot vaccine is reserved for those 18 and up. Russo’s lawyer Michael DerGarabedian said she was just trying to help, and she had experience administering medicine to diabetic family members. “There was no ill-intented motive,” he said. “She wasn’t making money. She wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. So figure it out yourself. She was trying to do good.” Russo has been reassigned at her school and, if found guilty, faces four years in prison.
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