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A New Zealand man has been dubbed “unbelievably selfish” and prompted an investigation after receiving up to 10 COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day.

The man is believed to have been paid to get jabbed under the names of other people who wanted to be eligible for the freedoms available to vaccinated people without getting vaccinated.

Astrid Koornneef, the vaccine program manager for New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, said officials were aware of the issue and taking it very seriously.

“We are very concerned about this situation and are working with the appropriate agencies,” she said, according to the New Zealand Herald.

It’s unclear where in New Zealand the man received his jabs, but Ms Koornneef recommended he visit a doctor again as soon as he can.

“If you know of someone who has had more vaccine doses than recommended they should seek clinical advice as soon as possible,” Ms Koornneef suggested.

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist and associate professor at the University of Auckland, said the behaviour was “unbelievably selfish” and was taking advantage of those who need money.

“It’s a really dumb thing to do,” she said.

Associate Professor Petousis-Harris said the act could cause serious harm as 10 people who aren’t vaccinated but say they are could be moving freely around the country and spreading the virus.

As for the unknown man, she said he would likely be fine in the long-term, but may feel worse the next day because of a more vigorous immune response – which causes side effects.

“We know that people have in error been given the whole five doses in a vial instead of it being diluted, we know that has happened overseas, and we know with other vaccines errors have occurred and there have been no long-term problems,” she said.

“I think the chances of them feeling extra awful are higher than someone who had a regular dose.”

Dr Petousis-Harris added that the extra doses wouldn’t provide any additional protection against COVID-19, since the immune response triggered by the vaccines would plateau over time.

Ms Koornneef described the behaviour as a “dangerous” act that puts the whole community at risk.

“To assume another person’s identity and receive a medical treatment is dangerous. This puts at risk the person who receives the vaccination under an assumed identity and the person whose health record will show they have been vaccinated when they have not,” she said.

“Having an inaccurate vaccination status not only puts you at risk, it puts your friends, whānau and community at risk, and the healthcare teams that treat you now [and] in the future.

“Medical practitioners operate in a high-trust environment and rely on people to act in good faith to share information accurately to assist with their treatment.”

Getting the jab under an assumed identity can also impact the person receiving it, as their own personal health record wouldn’t reflect that they were vaccinated. Ms Koornneef said this could affect how their health is managed in the future.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on Over60.

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