Health authorities in New Zealand are investigating claims that a man received up to 10 COVID-19 vaccination doses in a single day while posing as other people. To receive a vaccine, New Zealanders need only give their name, date of birth, and address. To aid accessibility, photo identification isn't required—even though police in October warned that some may be taking advantage of the rules, per Stuff. The man who visited several vaccination centers was allegedly paid by other people to get the doses on their behalf, according to the outlet.
While 89% of New Zealand's eligible population (12 years and up) are fully vaccinated, per Deutsche Welle, some residents are reluctant to get a shot and at the same time eager to skirt restrictions on the unvaccinated. "We are very concerned about this situation and are working with the appropriate agencies," says Ministry of Health rep Astrid Koornneef, per the Guardian. "This puts at risk the person who receives a vaccination under an assumed [identity] and the person whose health record will show they have been vaccinated when they have not. This could affect how their health is managed in the future."
University of Auckland vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris adds that the man, who may have been exploited, is unlikely to suffer serious harm if the claims are true, though "higher doses result in more general vaccine reactions, like fever and headaches and pains, so you might anticipate he would feel pretty [unwell] the next day." The ministry says anyone who's received more than the recommended dose of vaccine should "seek clinical advice as soon as practicable," per Stuff. Koornneef adds there will be no change to the current rules, as that would "work directly against our goal of vaccinating as many people as possible." She notes those lacking photo ID "are disproportionately people in vulnerable groups—homeless or transient, the elderly, the young, people with disabilities." (Read more New Zealand stories.)