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Man Caught Using Fake Silicone Arm To Get Covid Vaccine

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Man Caught Using Fake Silicone Arm To Get Covid Vaccine

An Italian 'anti-vaxxer' has been busted for trying to use a fake arm to get a covid jab in order to receive a vaccine passport, officials say.

The unidentified man in his 50s turned up to his vaccination appointment in Biella, northwest Italy, with a silicone mould covering his real arm, hoping it would go unnoticed.

But the nurse saw straight through the ruse after she rolled up his sleeve and found the skin to be "rubbery and cold" and the pigment "too light".

The man tried to persuade the nurse to turn a blind eye to his trickery after being rumbled, but instead, she reported him to the authorities for fraud, Italian newspaper la Repubblica reported.

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Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Local police are now investigating the incident and local officials have criticised the man's actions.

Regional governor Alberto Cirio released a statement regarding the event on Facebook, noting that the silicone on the prosthetic arm did indeed look "very similar" to real skin.

"(However) the colour and touch raised the suspicion of the health worker, who asked him to show the whole arm," Cirio said.

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"The incident would border on the ridiculous, were it not for the fact that we are talking about an extremely serious act," he added.

The man in question was reportedly a health worker, who had previously been suspended from his job for refusing to get vaccinated. In similarity to the UK, the jab is mandatory for all healthcare workers in Italy.

But what is most troubling is that this incident may not have been a one-off. In their coverage of the story, la Repubblica identified a message on social media that may have been written by the man.

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The Twitter post in question featured a link to a silicone male chest half-body suit, complete with fake arms and neck, that was on sale on Amazon for €488 (£416).

"If I go with this, will they notice? Maybe beneath the silicone, I'll even put on some extra clothes to avoid the needle reaching my real arm," the Twitter user reportedly wrote.

The move comes ahead of a tightening of Covid rules throughout Italy, which will see a Green Pass come into force - which can only be obtained by those who are vaccinated or have recently had the virus.

Those who are unvaccinated will no longer be allowed in several public spaces such as bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, clubs, sporting events, and gyms, among others.

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Previously, unvaccinated people could enter these spaces by providing a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 48 hours, but this rule is set to be phased out.

Furthermore, a negative Covid test will not be enough to use public transport from December 6.

Currently, just over 80 percent of Italians are fully vaccinated against Covid according to Reuters - higher than in France or the UK, but lower than in Spain and Portugal.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: vaccine, Health, Italy, Covid-19

Tom Sanders
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