With some older patients now cleared to get as many as four doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, one man is accused of receiving an extreme number of them as part of a scam.
The 61-year-old man from Germany, whose name has not been disclosed to the public, is accused of receiving at least 87 doses of the COVID vaccine, sometimes getting as many as three a day. His plan, allegedly, was to collect filled-out vaccine passports to sell to anti-vaxxers.
He is now under investigation by German authorities, following complaints from Kai Kranich, the German branch of the Red Cross, in the state of Saxony, a spokesperson for the organization told local newspaper Freie Presse. It is suspected that he showed up at different vaccination sites with different blank cards with his real name on them. After they were filled out, he would, by some method, alter them to remove his own name and sell them to anti-vaccination advocates.
“We then observed this and warned the other vaccination centers in Saxony,” the German Red Cross spokesperson told the paper.
The amount he made from the fraudulent venture is unknown at this time. After he was noticed by Red Cross staff members, they were told to alert police any time he appeared at a vaccination site. The man is also believed to have given false information about his medical history each time, allowing him to bypass restrictions on the number of vaccinations German residents are allowed to get.
The man rarely presented his health insurance card while registering for the shots, Freie Presse reported. Had he given insurance information, his actions might have been noticed sooner.
The 87 vaccinations currently known by authorities originate from Saxony. It is suspected that the man may have scammed his way into more shots, so investigations are currently underway in other German states. His first known vaccination allegedly took place in July 2021.
The German Ministry of Social Affairs told Freie Presse that, as of Friday, it had not heard of the case.
Newsweek reached out to the German Red Cross for confirmation of this story.
Over 75 percent of eligible German residents are fully vaccinated, according to DW.com. This number, while ahead of the U.S., is significantly behind other major European nations, including Spain, with 85 percent, and Portugal, with 91 percent.
In general, according to the CDC, taking multiple doses of a vaccine is not known to be harmful to most individuals. Newsweek reached out for insight as to whether the man’s extreme number of shots would have pushed him into the realm of health risks from vaccination.