A dentist in Italy faces possible criminal charges after trying to receive a coronavirus vaccine in a fake arm made of silicone.
A nurse in the northern city of Biella, Filippa Bua, said she could immediately feel that something was wrong when a man presented the fake limb for a shot on Thursday.
“When I revealed the arm, I felt skin that was cold and rubbery and the color was too light,” Bua told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
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She said she initially thought the 57-year-old man had been amputated and by mistake had offered the wrong arm. She lifted his shirt and saw a silicone arm.
“I immediately understood that the man was trying to avoid the vaccination by using a silicone prosthesis, which he hoped I would inject the drug into, unknowingly,” Bua said.
The nurse said the man admitted he did not want a vaccine but to get a “super” health pass, which from Monday will be required to enter restaurants, cinemas, theaters and other venues in Italy.
He had already been suspended from work due to his refusal to be vaccinated, which Italy demands for medical staff.
The nurse said the man was polite and left the vaccination center after the failed attempt.
“We stopped and reflected, and we understood that this was not just a surreal situation, but a real attempt at fraud,” Bua said. She and others at the vaccination site handed over papers to superiors so they could report the case, which has been given to prosecutors.
While Italy’s vaccination rate is relatively high at 85 per cent of the current eligible population aged 12 and over, people in the age group of 30 to 59 have been shown to be most resistant to vaccinations, with almost 3.5 million still not receiving their first doser.