Several countries in Europe are reporting increasing instances of fake COVID passes and vaccination certificates – a sign that vaccine resistance threatened earlier this year to dismantle governments’ anti-Covid strategies.
In France, authorities said on Monday they had detected more than 180,000 fake COVID passes since the measures were introduced this summer. And in Italy on Tuesday, police in the Sicilian capital Palermo arrested a leader of the anti-vaccination movement and a nurse who is accused of accepting payment for fake vaccinations.
Authorities in France said on Friday that soon only vaccinated people would be eligible for the COVID pass, which is required for entry into restaurants, cafes and other public places. Reports of counterfeiting shed light on how resistance to the vaccine remains strong in some parts of the country’s population.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmin said this month About 400 investigations were opened into networks of people suspected of providing fake passes, some of whom were linked to health professionals.
French news media recently reported several cases of doctors suspected of selling fake Covid passes. After a woman died of Kovid at a regional hospital in Paris this month, she showed a fake vaccine certificate, which also investigated.
In Sicily, police in Palermo said a nurse was paid 100 to 400 euros ($113 to $451) for pretending to vaccinate people at a vaccination center so that they could obtain a Green Pass, a health document that Required in Italy. Working and participating in many social activities.
A video circulated in the Italian news media It showed what police described as a nurse injecting a dose of vaccine into gauze pads and then pretending to inject the contents of empty syringes into people’s arms.
Police arrested Filippo Acceta, a local anti-vaccine campaigner; Anna Maria Lou Brano, a nurse; and charged another person with bribery, embezzlement and falsification of an official document.
Eight others in the Palermo hub are believed to have been falsely vaccinated, according to local prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi. He said a preliminary inquiry revealed that other health workers of the center were unaware of the fraud.