Man caught wearing fake arm in bid to fool staff giving Covid vaccine

Credit: PA

A man was caught red-handed in his attempts to fool a health worker into injecting him in a fake arm with the Covid vaccine.

The surreal episode unfolded in Biella, a town in the north Italy near Turin, where the unidentified man, 50, asked staff to turn a blind eye after noticing the silicone arm.

The head of the region’s authority, Alberto Cirio, slammed the ruse as “ridiculous” and vowed he will now “answer to justice.”

“Even though the silicone was very similar to real skin, its colour and feel raised the health worker’s suspicions,” he said in a statement.

“The worker then asked the person to show his full arm. Once discovered, the subject tried to convince the health worker to turn a blind eye.

“He was instead reported to the Carabinieri (police force) and the ASL (local health unit) will report the case too.”

Listen to our coronavirus podcast:

It came as the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said that EU nations should consider making Covid vaccinations compulsory as too many people still refuse.

The EU-wide vaccination rate stands at 66%, and unexpectedly high case surges in much of the 27-nation bloc has led many member countries to renew steps to curb infections.

Germany, for example, moved to ban unvaccinated people from non-essential shops and hospitality venues this week, while Austria will make vaccinations mandatory from February.

Italy, like much of Europe, is on high alert as the Omicron variant spreads across the continent, with scientists still unsure of its threat level and whether it can escape vaccines.

The country’s Higher Institute of Health (ISS) reported the country's first case of the Omicron variant last week as a man who had recently travelled to Mozambique.