A New Zealand man got 10 vaccine doses in one day impersonating people who allegedly paid him to take the shots for them.
A spokeswoman for New Zealand's Ministry of Health said the agency was investigating the incident. She declined to name where in the country the man got the shots and said it appears he visited multiple clinics.
“If you know of someone who has had more vaccine doses than recommended, they should seek clinical advice as soon as practicable,” she said.
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Medical experts said getting such a high dose is "definitely not recommended."
“We have no evidence as to what side effects somebody would have with this amount of vaccine," said Nikki Turner, medical director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre. “This is not a safe thing to do. This is putting that person at risk.”
Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist, called the people who allegedly paid the man "unbelievably selfish." She said it is unlikely he will come to long-term harm, but the initial side effects will be intense.
New Zealand news outlet Stuff reported in October that police were aware of people using false identities to carry out this type of scam. The Ministry of Health said at the time it was not considering photo identification requirements to get a vaccine, as it feared such a policy would “work directly against our goal of vaccinating as many people as possible."
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“People who do not have a form of photo identification are disproportionately people in vulnerable groups — homeless or transient, the elderly, the young, people with disabilities — and we don’t want to create barriers to their vaccination.”
New Zealand has mandated workers in healthcare, law enforcement, education, and emergency response get vaccinated.