- A man in Italy tried to trick a nurse into injecting the COVID-19 vaccine into a rubber foam arm, according to The New York Times.
- The nurse caught him, because she saw it peering under the theater corset he wore to hide it.
- The man was trying to score a vaccine pass without actually getting a shot amid new rules in Italy.
A man from Biella, Italy, showed up to his vaccination appointment with two rubber foam arms hidden under a theater corset, in an attempt to score a vaccination pass without actually getting inoculated, according to The New York Times.
Filippa Bua, the eagle-eyed nurse administering the shot, told The Times that when the patient sat down, he pulled his sweatshirt slightly, creating a small gap where his shirt and the rubber foam arm were visible for the vaccine.
“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,” Bua told La Repubblica, according to the Guardian.
The Guardian also reported that Bua paused when she could not see the man’s veins.
“It was made of rubber foam,” Bua said, adding that it was “quite well made.”
Under what The Times described as a “thick theater corset,” the man, who was not named, reportedly wore two rubber foam arms as a means to score a vaccine pass after Italy announced last week that people will have to show proof of vaccination, or the Green Pass, at bars and restaurants starting on Monday.
Protests have taken place across the country over the new measures.
Italy was the first country in Europe to mandate vaccines for healthcare workers and under new rules, workers like teachers, police officers, and other hospital staff will have to be fully vaccinated to maintain their jobs as well.
The BBC reported that the unnamed man was a health worker who had been suspended from his job for not being vaccinated.
According to The Times, as vaccine eligibility has widened in Italy, close to 13% of adults have yet to receive a single shot with a months-long uptick in cases and renewed concern about the Omicron variant.
Although the man with foam arms’ strategy failed, Bua said he was “pleasant and serene,” after being caught, but hospital authorities reported the incident to local police and he is being investigated for fraud, according to the BBC.
Alberto Cirio, who is president of the Piedmont region where Biella sits, said that what happened was “of enormous gravity, unacceptable given the sacrifice our community is enduring because of the pandemic.”
Bua didn’t enjoy the poorly veiled trick either.
“It was so humiliating,” Bua told The Times, “thinking that a nurse cannot tell the difference between rubber foam and skin.”
“I felt offended as a professional,” Filippa Bua told La Repubblica. “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.” The man said to her: “Would you have imagined that I’d have such a physique?”