Italian man who used 'fake arm' to avoid Covid vaccine faces prosecution

Local nurse initially thought the silicone arm was real

A nurse safely discards a used syringe at an Italian Red Cross Covid-19 vaccination hub in Rome. AP Photo

A 50-year-old man in Italy has attempted to fraudulently obtain a Covid-19 vaccine certificate by presenting a “fake arm” to a medical worker.

The accused, who was visiting a vaccination centre in Turin, is reportedly a member of the anti-vaccination movement and needed the certificate to enter public places following new legislation in Italy mandating a Covid-19 vaccine passport.

The nurse attempting to administer the jab at first thought his arm was real, before noticing it was a strange colour and she could not find a vein.

“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,” she told Italian daily La Republica.

The accused will now face prosecution in a local court, authorities said.

Italy was initially one of the countries hit hard by the coronavirus, as infections soared across Europe in the spring of 2020. It has since struggled to convince a segment of its population to reject anti-vaccination conspiracy theories.

Around 71 per cent of the population have had two Covid-19 vaccinations.

The country has now moved to implement a vaccine “green pass” to help convince those hesitant or opposed to having a vaccine, as health authorities brace for a wave of the new Omicron variant of the virus, thought to be much more transmissible than the globally dominant delta variant.

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Updated: December 4th 2021, 6:30 AM