A 50-year-old man tried to deceive health authorities by passing off a silicone arm as his own at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in northern Italy in the bid to get the vaccine certificate without being inoculated.
The deception was spotted by a nurse, Filippa Bua, when she was about to administer the vaccine in Biella, Piedmont on Thursday, CNN reported.
The nurse said she noticed something odd about the arm, and upon inspection, she realized that the arm was fake, made of silicone, the newspaper said.
“The colour of the skin was anomalous, much lighter compared to the hands or the face of the patient,” Ms Bua, who said she has been a nurse since 1987 and has administered thousands of jabs, noted.
“I first felt sorry for the man, thinking that he had a prosthesis and wondering if I had somehow forced him to give me the wrong arm,” Ms Bua said. “But then he admitted he was wearing the fake arm on purpose to avoid getting the vaccine.”
“At the very beginning I was surprised, then I was angry, I felt professionally offended, he showed no respect for our intelligence and our profession,” she said. “I would never expect such a thing in my life.”
The Piedmont regional government berated the unnamed man’s deception and attempt to cheat the system.
“The case could be classified as ‘ridiculous,’ except that we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity, unacceptable for the sacrifice that the whole community is paying for the pandemic,” CNN quoted a joint communiqué from the Piedmont region’s president and health councilor as reading.
The president of the Piedmont regional government, Alberto Cirio, added in a video message that the incident was “an offense to the region’s health system, which is among the first in Italy for vaccination capacity and for booster doses.”
Many European countries have made vaccination compulsory, but not without protests with growing anti-vaccine sentiment growing in the region.
Last month, the Italian government signed a decree making a Covid-19 “super green pass.” Under this measure, to visit bars, restaurants, theaters and other indoor entertainment venues, you must be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery from coronavirus.
Local police have also been seen in clips raiding for fake vaccine certificates.
This has sparked violence in some part of the southern European country, one that has ignited a national debate about fascism.
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