An Italian man who wanted a COVID-19 vaccination certificate without getting the vaccine reportedly tried to play the system by allegedly turning up for his vaccination appointment with a fake silicone arm.

The incident happened at a vaccine hub in Biella, a town close to Turin in the northern Piedmont region of Italy.

The man, in his 50s, reportedly arrived for his shot at the vaccine hub in Biella with a silicone mold covering his real arm, hoping it would go unnoticed. Initially, the nurse did not notice the man's fake arm as the silicone looked similar to skin. However, when she rolled up his sleeve to inject the vaccine, she found the skin "rubbery and cold" and the pigment "too light," BBC reported.

When the nurse discovered his fraud, the man tried to persuade the health worker to turn a blind eye. However, the woman felt offended and reported him immediately to the police.

“I felt offended as a professional,” the nurse Filippa Bua said. “The color of the arm made me suspicious and so I asked the man to uncover the rest of his left arm. It was well made but it wasn’t the same color.”

The man was reportedly a health worker who got suspended from his job because he had not been vaccinated. Italy has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all health workers, the Guardian reported.

Meanwhile, a Twitter post believed to have been written by the same man has been discovered. The post featured a silicone male chest half-body suit, complete with fake arms and neck, that was on sale on Amazon for US$551 (£416).

"If I go with this, will they notice? Maybe beneath the silicone, I'll even put on some extra clothes to avoid the needle reaching my real arm," a Twitter user reportedly wrote sharing the post.

The incident reportedly happened after Italy tightened rules against those who have not been vaccinated. Since August, Italians have been required to present a COVID-19 "green pass" to access train stations, cinemas, restaurants, gyms, and swimming pools. The "green pass" reportedly shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 result, or proof of recovery from the virus.

However, starting Monday, Dec. 6, these activities will be restricted to only Italians with a "super green pass." The "super green pass" is only available to those who have been fully vaccinated and who have recently recovered from COVID-19.

An Italian man who wanted a COVID-19 vaccination certificate reportedly tried to play the system by turning up for his vaccination with a fake silicone arm. This is a representational image. Pixabay

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