Mother of teen who allegedly received COVID vaccine from Long Island teacher upset over news of plea deal

NEW HYDE PARK, NY — The parent of a child who received a COVID-19 vaccine without permission wants the teacher who allegedly illegally administered the dose have a criminal record and renounce working with children.

But prosecutors told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan on Wednesday that they were working on a non-criminal plea deal.

“My reaction is, I think it’s a joke,” Lisa Doyle said.

Doyle called the Nassau County District Attorney’s office plea deal offer a miscarriage of justice.

For the first time, we learn that it was her 17-year-old son who was allegedly injected with a coronavirus vaccine without parental permission by a Long Island teacher on New Year’s Eve.

“She did something wrong, and it could have been a really bad situation. I mean, my son could have gone into anaphylactic shock,” Doyle said.

The vaccination took place at the home of teacher Laura Russo in Sea Cliff, where the teenager was visiting his friend.

“He called and he said, ‘Mom, I got the shot.’ And I’m like, “What are you talking about? It’s New Year’s Eve,'” Doyle said. “She convinced him that everything was legit, it was legal, it was allowed, it was a home vaccination kit.”

Russo was arrested for felony attempted unauthorized exercise of a profession and disorderly conduct violation, and faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

But in a reversal, if Russo pleads guilty and completes 50 hours of community service before sentencing next month, the charges would be dropped and sealed.

“Mentally, I think it was overwhelming for him,” Doyle said.

A spokesperson for the Nassau district attorney’s office said prosecutors made the plea offer “based on the defendant’s longstanding ties to the community and her lack of a criminal record.”

“They put a lot of thought into it. They didn’t shoot from the hip on this one, and I think this offer is fair and just,” defense attorney Gerard McCloskey said.

“Where did the professor get the vaccine? asked McLogan.

“She told me she got the vaccine from a little pharmacy in Sea Cliff. She assured me it was refrigerated. She wanted it as a Christmas decoration for her tree and since the pharmacist was going to have to waste it anyway, because it was New Years Eve and wouldn’t be used for a few days, she gave him the bottle,” Doyle said.

“Ms. Russo has a completely unblemished teaching record, professional record and personal record,” McCloskey said.

But the teenager’s mother says it shows poor and dangerous judgment on the part of the veteran Herricks teacher, who was removed from class and reassigned pending resolution of the vaccination case.

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