Tuesday, 05 Dec 2023

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

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

NEW HYDE PARK (Writer) -- The parent of a child who was given a COVID-19 vaccine without permission wants the teacher who allegedly illegally administered the dose to have a criminal record and give up working with children.

But prosecutors told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan on Wednesday they are working out a non-criminal plea deal.

"My reaction is: I think it's a joke," Lisa Doyle said.

Doyle called the plea deal offer from the Nassau County District Attorney's Office a miscarriage of justice.

For the first time we are learning 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 very bad situation. I mean, my son could have went into anaphylactic shock," Doyle said.

The vaccination took place inside teacher Laura Russo's Sea Cliff home, where the teen was visiting his friend.

"He called and he said, 'Mom, I got the vaccine.' 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 on a felony charge of attempted unauthorized practice of a profession and a disorderly conduct violation, and faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

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if Russo pleads guilty and performs 50 hours of community service before sentencing next month, the charges would be withdrawn and sealed.

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

A spokesman for the Nassau DA's office said prosecutors made the plea offer "based on the defendant's long-standing ties to the community and her lack of a criminal record."

"They gave it a lot of thought. They didn't shoot from the hip on this one, and I feel that this offer is fair and just," defense attorney Gerard McCloskey said.

"Where did the teacher get the vaccine?" McLogan asked.

"She told me that she got the vaccine from a small pharmacy in Sea Cliff. She did assure me that 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 Year's Eve and wouldn't be used for a few days, she gave her the vial," Doyle said.

"Ms. Russo has a completely unblemished teaching record, professional record, personal record," McCloskey said.

But the teen's mother says it shows poor and dangerous judgment on the part of the veteran Herricks teacher, who has been removed from the classroom and reassigned pending resolution of the vaccination case.

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