German guy gets 90 COVID shots to sell fake vax cards

German guy gets 90 COVID shots to sell fake vax cards
AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

When various state and municipal governments started giving away money and other incentives for the vaccine-hesitant to get their shots, I raised what seemed to be an obvious question. What would happen if desperate people, particularly the homeless, began showing up at multiple pods and getting multiple vaccinations just to cash in on the money or other rewards? Had anyone actually studied what would happen to patients who received far more than the CDC recommended number of injections at the prescribed intervals? We may be about to find out. One guy in Germany was arrested after reportedly going for as many as 90 injections. He wasn’t trying to be the most immune person on the planet, however. He was selling off the vaccination cards he was given after altering them so his customers could put in their own names. (Associated Press)

A 60-year-old man allegedly had himself vaccinated against COVID-19 dozens of times in Germany in order to sell forged vaccination cards with real vaccine batch numbers to people not wanting to get vaccinated themselves.

The man from the eastern Germany city of Magdeburg, whose name was not released in line with German privacy rules, is said to have received up to 90 shots against COVID-19 at vaccination centers in the eastern state of Saxony for months until criminal police caught him this month, the German news agency dpa reported Sunday.

The suspect was not detained but is under investigation for unauthorized issuance of vaccination cards and document forgery, dpa reported.

So this 60-year-od man was trying to make sure that his fake vax cards would pass muster by having legitimate batch numbers on them that would line up with official health records. That seems like a poor plan even if you ignore the number of shots he took. If the German system is anything like what’s used in the United States, they don’t just look at the batch number. The name has to match the state vaccination records as well. So even if you have a valid batch number, it should still show up as a forgery.

The bigger question here is what’s going to happen to the guy. The AP report only says that it was “not immediately clear” what impact that many shots from multiple pharmaceutical companies might have on the man’s personal health. When I went looking for some information on the subject, I found that the CDC didn’t have a lot to offer. They say that “your risk of serious side effects does not increase if you get extra doses of a vaccine.” But I doubt that they’re talking about this many extra doses. They do note that patients may increase their risk of inflammation at the injection site if multiple doses are taken.

This is a question that’s been kicked around since the beginning of the vaccination push more than a year ago. It’s been particularly common among the vaccine-hesitant. These are still very new vaccines using cutting-edge technology. Are there any long-term effects that will show up after people are injected a certain number of times? We can’t possibly know that because they haven’t been in circulation long enough to say.

But now we have a guinea pig. If this guy took 90 shots in a matter of months, somebody needs to keep an eye on him just to see what happens. Perhaps the police could cut a deal with him to drop the forgery charges in exchange for an agreement to go into a long-term medical monitoring program. If there is some sort of negative cumulative effect that will show up after taking multiple shots, we should know about that as soon as possible. If nothing happens to this guy, then the vaccines are probably as safe as could be reasonably expected. But if he suddenly starts growing a third eye in the back of his head or something, the public deserves to be warned.

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