Man was trying to obtain Italy's Green Pass without getting vaccinated but his desperate attempt failed to fool doctors in Biella.
An anti-vaxxer in the northern Piemonte region of Italy faces criminal charges for showing up for his covid-19 vaccination with a fake arm made out of silicone.
The 50-year-old man presented the false arm to be injected by a health worker who - after touching the silicone - was immediately suspicious and asked him to take off his shirt.
Once his cover was blown, the man begged the medical worker to turn a blind eye.
Instead he was reported to the carabinieri, with healthcare authorities set to file a report for the Prosecutor's Office.
The man had reportedly followed all the usual bureaucratic procedures, being interviewed about his health and signing a consent form in front of the doctor, before unveiling his silicone arm.
The bizarre incident occurred on 2 December at a vaccination hub in Biella where direct access is allowed, without reservation, for those who decide to get the first dose of the covid vaccine.
The man's motive was to obtain the Green Pass certificate - which proves the holder has been vaccinated and is valid for nine months - as Italy prepares to tighten its covid restrictions against those who are unvaccinated.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that it may not be an isolated incident, citing a message that appeared recently on social media that may or may not have been written by the 50-year-old in Biella.
The post featured a silicone bodysuit, complete with fake arms and neck - for sale on Amazon for €488 - with the inscription in Italian: "If I go with this, will they notice? Maybe under the silicone I'll even put on some extra clothes to avoid the needle reaching my real arm".
The ASL health authority in Biella told La Repubblica that "similar events occur especially these days because those who come now for the first dose belong essentially to three categories: those who have delayed the dose for health reasons and have a medical certificate, the doubters who are convinced, and those who remain opposed but need the Green Pass and invent these things".
Alberto Cirio, president of the Piemonte region around Biella, condemned the incident in a joint statement with the regional health councillor Luigi Icardi.
"The case borders on the ridiculous, were it not for the fact that we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity, unacceptable in the face of the sacrifice that the pandemic is making the whole community pay" - the statement reads - "The promptness and skill of the health worker have ruined the plans of this person who will now answer to justice."
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Italy No Vax tries to get covid vaccine with fake arm
13900 Biella, Province of Biella, Italy