Man investigated for having 10 Covid jabs in one day
11 Dec, 2021 14:59 / Updated 14 hours ago
FILE PHOTO. Used vaccine syringes. © Reuters / Stephane Mahe
A New Zealander has ended up under investigation after he allegedly got up to 10 Covid-19 vaccine shots in a single day, impersonating other people reluctant to get vaccinated for cash.
The bizarre over-vaccination story was first reported by the Stuff news website on Friday.
The unidentified man is believed to have visited several vaccination centers in a single day, receiving up to 10 shots. He was allegedly paid by people who wanted to have a Covid-19 vaccination on their record – but were reluctant to get jabbed. In New Zealand, people do not have to produce identification when receiving the vaccine, facilitating the bold scheme.
The incident was acknowledged by the country’s Ministry of Health, with Astrid Koornneef, the Covid-19 vaccine and immunization program group manager, confirming authorities were “aware of the issue.” The official, however, did not reveal where exactly the alleged scam took place.
“We are taking this matter very seriously. We are very concerned about this situation and are working with the appropriate agencies,” Koornneef told Stuff. “If you know of someone who has had more vaccine doses than recommended they should seek clinical advice as soon as practicable.”
Vaccine experts and immunologists rushed to condemn the enterprising man, warning such scams could be potentially harmful to those who pull them off. Vaccinologist and associate professor at the University of Auckland, Helen Petousis-Harris blasted such behavior as “unbelievably selfish.”
“We know that people have in error been given the whole five doses in a vial instead of it being diluted, we know that has happened overseas, and we know with other vaccines errors have occurred and there has been no long-term problems,” she told the NZ Herald.
The scheme was described as “silly and dangerous,” for both the man and those who paid him to get the shots, by Malaghan Institute director Graham Le Gros. While he was unlikely to die from receiving 10 shots in a single day, he certainly would have had a “really sore arm” from all the jabs, the immunologist said. Moreover, going well over the recommended dosage might also make a vaccine not work as well instead of creating a stronger immune response, he added.