After showing up for his COVID-19 vaccine wearing a fake arm, an Italian man is facing allegations of fraud.
The Guardian reported that the unusual incident occurred at a vaccination distribution centre in Biella, a town near Turin in northern Piedmont, just a week after Italy announced restrictions prohibiting unvaccinated people from participating in a variety of social, cultural, and sporting activities.
Alberto Cirio, the president of the Piedmont region, recounted how the unnamed individual sought to “deceive” health staff and was eventually discovered in a Facebook post on Friday.
Cirio told Reuters that the artificial silicone arm looked “extremely similar” to genuine skin. The hue and feel, however, “aroused the suspicion of the health worker, who ordered him to display the entire arm,” he added.
The anti-vaxxer may have paid hundreds of euros for the silicone prosthetic because he was so determined to avoid the vaccine while still obtaining a health card.
The man, 50, sat down and lifted the sleeve of his shirt as he prepared for a health worker to administer the jab after completing the bureaucratic requirements, which included signing a consent form in front of a doctor. Filippa Bua, a nurse, was about to administer a dose of Covid vaccination to a guy when she noticed that the small patch of arm he volunteered in the gap between his sweatshirt and T-shirt was significantly pinker than his face.
She recognised what was wrong when she touched it. I felt offended as a professional, the colour of the arm made me suspicious and so I asked the man to uncover the rest of his left arm. It was well made but it wasn’t the same colour.” Said the Bua.
Since announcing plans for the “super green pass,” which takes effect nationwide on December 6 and requires people to prove they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 to access cinemas, theatres, gyms, nightclubs, ski lifts, and stadiums, as well as to be served indoors at bars and restaurants, Italy has seen a significant increase in the number of bookings for first-time jabs.