An Italian man failed to outwit health officials in securing a vaccine pass when he turned up for his Covid-19 jab wearing a fake arm. The man in his 50s is facing fraud charges, officials say.
‘Robbery, Cold and Too Light’
The strange incident took place at the vaccine hub in Biella, a town in the northern Piedmont region, a week after Italy’s government announced more restrictions for the country’s unvaccinated.
The man arrived for his shot wearing a silicone mould which covered his real arm. After filling out the necessary paperwork, the officiating nurse noticed the ruse and reported him to the police.
The nurse, Filippa Bua told La Repubblica that the man pleaded with her to overlook 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. At first I thought I made a mistake, that it was a patient with an artificial arm.
He is facing fraud charges. Local officials were quick to condemn the man’s actions. In a joint statement signed by the president of Piedmont and the regional health councillor, the officials said:
The promptness and skill of the health worker ruined the plans of this person, who will now have to respond to the judiciary. It is unacceptable in the face of the sacrifice that the pandemic is making the whole community pay for.
‘Will They Notice?’
Local newspaper, La Repubblica quoted a post on Twitter, suspected to have been written by the man, featuring a silicone male chest half-body suit, complete with fake arms and neck, that was on sale on Amazon for €488 (£416). The Twitter user reportedly wrote:
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.
From Monday, Dec 06, Italian residents will have to prove they are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 to access cinemas, theatres, gyms and nightclubs. They also need the ‘Green Pass’ in order to be served indoors at bars and restaurants.