KEY POINTS

  • The 17-year-old boy received what is believed to be a COVID-19 vaccine at the woman's New York home, police said
  • Authorities said the woman is not a medical professional or authorized in any capacity to administer vaccines
  • The woman was arrested and charged with unauthorized practice of a profession

A 54-year-old woman has been arrested in New York after allegedly giving a minor the COVID-19 vaccine without the consent of his parents, police said.

The woman was arrested Friday in the village of Sea Cliff in Long Island after the teenage boy's mother reported the incident to authorities, NBC New York reported.

The suspect was identified by ABC 7 as Laura Parker Russo.

Nassau County police said the 17-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, was at Russo's Sea Cliff residence when she allegedly gave him an injection of "what is believed to be a COVID-19 vaccine," according to the outlet.

The teenager then went home and informed his mother of what had happened. His mother had not given permission or authority to have her son jabbed and immediately called police.

Following an investigation, police found that Russo is not a medical professional or authorized in any capacity to administer vaccines.

Russo was charged with unauthorized practice of a profession after she was placed under arrest.

Russo was issued a desk appearance ticket and released. She is due to appear in court in Hempstead on Jan. 21.

In October last year, the Food and Drug Administration gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children aged 5 to 15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older.

The New York State Department of Health said in its guidance for its vaccination program that "for all minors, a parent or legal guardian must provide consent for vaccination. For minors 16 or 17 years of age, such consent should be provided either in person or by phone, at the time of vaccine appointment."

Minors younger than 16 need to be accompanied by an adult caregiver.

In December 2021, a California mother said her 13-year-old son received the COVID-19 vaccine at his school after someone offered it in exchange for pizza, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Maribel Duarte said she found out after her son, a student at the Barack Obama Global Prep Academy in south Los Angeles, brought home a vaccine card.

The mother said she is not against the vaccine and is vaccinated herself but is concerned about her son, whom she said has "problems with asthma and allergy problems."

"It hurt to know he got a shot without my permission, without knowing and without signing any papers for him to get the shot," Duarte said.

Lawyer Jennifer Kennedy told NBC that minors in California cannot consent to vaccination.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to comment as student matters are confidential but said its "safe schools to safe steps incentive program" is meant to ensure several steps are in place for vaccinated students to receive prizes.

The LAUSD has mandated a Jan. 10 vaccination for all students age 12 and above. Those who don't get it and don't have a legal exemption will be forced back into online learning.

The U.S. has reported more than 54.8 million COVID-19 cases and 824,000 deaths as of Saturday, according to data provided by The New York Times.

A health worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine in the city of Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil A health worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine in the city of Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil Photo: AFP / Carlos JUNIOR