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French nurse faces five years in jail for issuing fake health pass

The nurse stands accused of giving a 34-year-old teacher a fake pass, days after a woman died of severe Covid in hospital partly due to giving doctors a fake health pass

A woman holds out a health pass on a smartphone

Fake health passes have caused a series of high-profile issues in recent weeks Pic: sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

A French nurse is under legal investigation after being accused of providing a fake vaccination certificate to a man who had not been vaccinated. Both now face a jail term of up to five years.

The 55-year-old female nurse had been working in a vaccination centre in Béziers, Hérault, and stands accused of pretending to give a dose of vaccination to a 34-year-old teacher, and then issuing him with a fake certificate.

The incident reportedly happened in June. The nurse also stands accused of scheduling a fake second dose for the man, for August 3, 2021.

Yet, the man reportedly spoke openly about the fraud to his friends and family, and an anonymous phone call eventually tipped off the vaccination centre.

The man himself is now also under investigation, accused of fraud.

Both the nurse and the man face up to five years imprisonment if convicted.

The man said that he “did not trust” the vaccine, but “needed to have a health pass within the context of his musical activities”.

The nurse said that she had only issued a fake certificate to this single patient, who she knew from outside the vaccination centre, to do him “a favour”.

In addition to being under judicial investigation, she has been suspended from her job and must attend mandatory psychological counselling sessions, “given the clear fragility of her mental state shown during the inquiry”.

Both the nurse and the man face up to five years in jail if convicted, as well as being fined. The nurse could also face a five-year ban from practising healthcare.

 

False vaccination certificate implicated in woman’s death

It comes soon after a 57-year-old woman died in hospital in Paris after contracting Covid, but who had presented doctors with a fake vaccination certificate, which delayed correct treatment.

The woman died at the Raymond-Poincaré de Garches hospital in Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris, at the beginning of December, after having been admitted with a severe form of Covid. 

Read more: Covid patient dies in French hospital after showing fake vaccine pass 

Professor Djillali Annane, head of the hospital’s intensive care unit, told Franceinfo that the ICU carried out a series of tests to look for a cause of the woman’s deteriorating health, and only realised that her vaccination certificate was false after testing for Covid antibodies.

At that point, it was too late to change her treatment plan, and she died soon after. She had no underlying medical conditions, but was not vaccinated.

Professor Annane said that if the hospital had known sooner she was not vaccinated, the situation could have been different. 

He said: "To all my colleagues who prescribe false vaccination certificates, I want to say that they are doing their patients a disservice, and cheating them.”

Husband calls issuer of fake pass ‘a murderer’

The deceased woman’s husband has now said he will lodge a formal complaint against the doctor who issued the fake vaccination pass to his wife. The man said he already felt huge guilt that he did not immediately tell the hospital that his wife’s proof of full vaccination was in fact fake.

He said that she had been bringing in PCR tests to work instead of getting vaccinated, but someone told her: “I know someone who can give you a fake health pass for €200”.

He added that the couple had argued about the issue and “almost got divorced because of it”. He said that when in hospital he initially “respected his wife’s wishes” not to be honest about her vaccination status, even though he “tried everything, went down on my knees and begged her to tell the hospital” that she was not vaccinated.

He told BFMTV: “I don’t blame the hospital, I trust them, they did everything they could to save her. I blame the [professional who gave out the certificate], they’re not a doctor, they’re a murderer, an assassin. I am lodging a complaint against the fake. Justice must be done.”

The doctor who issued the fake pass has reportedly already had their medical licence taken away. 

The press advisor to the mayor of Nice told BFMTV that “several dozen” doctors in the area have had their licence suspended in connection with fake health passes.

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