A dentist in Italy faces possible criminal charges after trying to receive a coronavirus vaccine in a fake arm.
Filippa Bua, a nurse in the northern city of Biella, said she could tell right away that something was wrong when a man presented the phony limb for a jab.
“When I uncovered the arm, I felt skin that was cold and gummy, and the colour was too light,” she told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
She said she initially thought the 57-year-old man was an amputee and had mistakenly offered the wrong arm. She lifted his shirt and saw a silicone limb.
“I understood immediately that the man was trying to avoid the vaccination by using a silicone prosthetic, into which he hoped that I would inject the drug, unaware,” Ms Bua said.
She said the man acknowledged he did not want a vaccine but wished to obtain a “super” health pass, which from Monday will be required to enter restaurants, cinemas, theatres and other venues in Italy.
He had already been suspended from work because of his refusal to get vaccinated, which Italy requires for medical personnel.
The nurse said the man was courteous and left the vaccination centre after the failed attempt.
“We stopped and reflected, and we understood that this wasn’t just a surreal situation, but a real attempt at fraud,” Ms Bua said.
She and others at the vaccination site turned paperwork over to superiors so they could report the case, which has been given to prosecutors.
Italy’s vaccination rate is relatively high at 85% of the currently eligible population, aged 12 and over, but people in the the 30-59 age range have proven the most resistant to vaccination, with nearly 3.5 million still not having had their first dose.