An ‘unbelievably selfish’ man was vaccinated against Covid up to 10 times in one day after others paid him to get the jab for them.
The man, who has not been identified, pretended to be a different person each time he visited a doctor in New Zealand.
He was then given the shot before the vaccination records were updated for the individual he was impersonating.
Authorities believe anti-vaxxers paid the man so they could enjoy the same freedoms as the vaccinated without having to get the jab, according to DailyMail Australia.
New Zealanders must show a vaccine pass in order to visit some high-risk events.
Astrid Koornneef from the NZ Ministry of Health branded the behaviour ‘dangerous’ as she announced an investigation has been launched.
‘We are very concerned about this situation and are working with the appropriate agencies,’ Ms Koorneef, group manager operations for the Covid-19 vaccine and immunisation program, said.
‘Having an inaccurate vaccination status not only puts you at risk, it puts your friends, whānau [extended family] and community at risk, and the healthcare teams that treat you now in the future.
‘Medical practitioners operate in a high-trust environment and rely on people to act in good faith to share information accurately to assist with their treatment.’
Ms Koornneef would not confirm the locations of the various vaccination sites visited by the man.
She advised any person who has had more vaccine doses than recommended should seek clinical advice as soon as possible.
University of Auckland vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris said taking more jabs than recommended was a ‘really dumb thing to do’ and ‘unbelievably selfish’.
She also condemned those who had taken ‘advantage’ of his financial situation as a means to avoid getting the jab.
Although the man is unlikely to suffer serious long-term consequences she said: ‘I think the chances of them feeling extra awful are higher than someone who had a regular dose.’
While there is limited data on the effects of multiple Covid vaccines on the body, Ms Petousis-Harris guessed the man would be feeling pretty rough the next day with strong side effects including fever, pains and headaches.
And he will be no more protected against coronavirus than people who have had the recommended two doses as the triggered immune response will plateau.
New Zealand this month launched vaccine passports which are required for entry into some large events.
Social media users said the side-hustle is gaining traction.
However, health officials remain uneasy about complicating the identification process.
They worry people who wish to get vaccinated but don’t have a photo ID could be deterred from getting the jab.
A health ministry spokesperson said these people tended to belong to vulnerable groups in the community like the homeless, disabled or the elderly.
Data from the New Zealand government shows of the eligible population, 94% have had their first dose and 89% have had both jabs.
Of the fully vaccinated population, 91% have downloaded a ‘My Vaccine Pass’, the equivalent of Australia’s vaccination passport.
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