Italian anti-vax doctor arrested over fake Covid jabs

A nurse prepares to inject a dose of a Covid vaccine at a hospital in Rome.
At least 79 'green passes' are known to have been issued based on fake vaccine certificates. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
A doctor was arrested in the Italian city of Ravenna on Thursday for issuing false Covid vaccination certificates to people who refused the jab.

Police said the 64-year-old general practitioner pretended to administer doses and issued bogus vaccine certificates to patients.

Some 79 green passes issued on the basis of the false certifcates were “seized”, reports Italian news agency Ansa.

The doctor was charged with fraud, embezzlement and corruption, while several other people including a police officer are also under investigation.

READ ALSO: Italy cracks down on Covid green pass protests

Italy’s green pass health certificate, which shows that the bearer is vaccinated, tested or recovered, is a requirement at many cultural and leisure venues and became obligatory in all workplaces on October 15th.

The Italian government this week issued new restrictions on protests against the health measure, saying repeated anti-green pass demonstrations had negatively impacted local businesses in cities across Italy.

One large anti-green pass and anti-vaccination demonstration in the northern city of Trieste recently sparked a Covid outbreak and is so far thought to be connected to at least 200 infections and five hospitalisations.

READ ALSO: Why are Covid infections in Italy rising?

The Italian health ministry said this week that it will speed up the administration of third doses to more age groups – as well as aiming to have 90 percent of the population fully vaccinated – amid concerns about waning vaccine immunity and the number of people still yet to have a first dose.

Though the numbers are rising around Europe and beyond, the increases in Italy have so far been relatively small. However, politicians and health experts maintain that more vaccine coverage is needed to keep the situation under control.

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