A man in New Zealand has been accused of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 up to 10 times in one day, after allegedly being paid by anti-vaxxers to take the shot on their behalf.
New Zealand has recently changed COVID restrictions, introducing a traffic light system where areas are labeled as red, amber, or green, depending on the number of infections in the area and vaccination rates. However, even where restrictions are highest, businesses are open to anyone who can prove they are vaccinated.
As you'd expect, this move has not been welcomed with open deltoid muscles by anti-vaxxers, or others with concerns about the vaccines. Enter one entrepreneur who, judging by his willingness to get more of the vaccine than anyone else known to science, does not share their worries.
The un-named man visited several vaccination centers in order to get vaccinated and receive proof of vaccination on behalf of others, according to New Zealand media outlet Stuff.
“We are taking this matter very seriously," Astrid Koornneef, the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine and immunization program group manager told the outlet, confirming the government were aware of the case. "We are very concerned about this situation and are working with the appropriate agencies."
The man is not the first person to have taken large doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with several other people accidentally being administered around five times the usual dose. Some experienced flu-like symptoms, though none have experienced any major side effects. However, if reports are correct, this man has received up to 10 doses in a day, quantities for which no safety data is available.
“The Comirnaty vaccine, the one we’re using, is designed based on early clinical data that works out what’s the right amount to give a good immune response and to give a good safety profile, and we do know that a high dose vaccine creates more side effects," medical director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre, Professor Nikki Turner, told Stuff.
“So this is definitely not recommended … we have no evidence as to what side effects somebody would have with this amount of vaccine. This is not a safe thing to do, this is putting that person at risk.”
It is unlikely to have this effect, nor are you going to suddenly start shooting antibodies out of your eyes like cyclops.
Meanwhile, Koornneef highlighted the risks that anti-vaxxers paying for such a service are placing on their own families and friends.
"To assume another person's identity and receive a medical treatment is dangerous," Koornneef told Newsweek. "This puts at risk the person who receives a vaccination under an assumed identify and the person whose health record will show they have been vaccinated when they have not."
"Having an inaccurate vaccination status not only puts you at risk, it puts your friends, whānau [extended family] and community at risk, and the healthcare teams that treat you now and in the future."