Rome — An Italian man tried cheating the system by using a fake arm during his Covid-19 vaccination to acquire the vaccine certification.
“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 man reportedly wrote on Twitter.
The man, in his 50s, showed up for his appointment, donning a silicone mould wrapped around his real arm.
Although he hoped that no one would notice, given the realistic skin colour of the contraption, the nurse who was in charge of his jab was not fooled.
She told local media that the fake arm’s skin felt “cold and rubbery,” plus the pigment was “too light.”
The nurse reported the incident to the authorities for fraud, despite the man’s attempt in persuading the nurse to turn a blind eye to his plan, reported Italian news outlet la Repubblica.
The police are currently investigating the incident, with local officials criticising the man’s actions.
Head of the Piedmont regional government, Albert Cirio, said in a Facebook post on Dec 3 that “the case borders on the ridiculous if it were not for the fact we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity.”
Mr Cirio also noted that the incident was no laughing matter as the Piedmont region takes its vaccination programme seriously. He considers the man’s plan an offence to the population that takes pride in being one of the most vaccinated regions in Italy.
According to la Repubblica, a Tweet allegedly posted by the man hinted at his plan.
The Tweet included a link to a silicone male chest half-body suit sold on Amazon for €488 (S$757).
Local media noted that the man was a health worker, recently suspended from his job because he had not been vaccinated.
Beginning Monday (Dec 6), Italians are required to have a “super green pass,” an upgrade from a Covid “green pass” to access train stations, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools and restaurants.
The “super green pass” is given to those who have been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid-19 infection.
Previously, the “green pass” or the equivalent of a Covid health certificate served as proof that an individual was vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative for the virus.