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Fake news: Man caught after trying to get COVID jab in prosthetic arm

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By AFP  with Euronews
The man tried to get a COVID jab at a vaccination centre in Biella.
The man tried to get a COVID jab at a vaccination centre in Biella.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File   -  

A man has been rumbled in Italy after trying to get a vaccine in a prosthetic arm.

The 50-year-old from Piedmont was attempting to "fool health workers" and get a COVID health pass, said the region's president Alberto Cirio.

Italy has been operating the passes since the summer. They allow those vaccinated, testing negative or recently recovered from COVID to access restaurants, cinemas and theatres.

On Monday, the country is introducing a "super green pass", open to those vaccinated or recovered but not those testing negative.

Cirio said although the prosthetic arm was well-made, nurses were suspicious of its colour and feel, prompting them to ask for his shirt to be removed.

"He thought he could cheat the system and thus obtain the green pass without actually having had the vaccine," Cirio said in a Facebook post.

"Once discovered, the person tried to convince the health worker to turn a blind eye," he added.

The man has been reported to Italy's Carabinieri and the case referred to public prosecutors.

"The case borders on the ridiculous, if it were 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 our entire community pay," Cirio added.

"The worker's promptness and skill ruined this individual's plans and he will now be brought to justice.

"Our thanks go to all the health workers who have been working uninterruptedly for months on our vaccination campaign without ever lowering their attention and professionalism."