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IPFS News Link • Italy

Desperate No-Vaxxers Paying COVID-Positive People $150 for Dinner and COVID Infection

• www.thedailybeast.com, Barbie Latza Nadeau

ROME—The messages started popping up on Telegram a few days after Italy announced a new vaccine mandate requiring everyone over age 50 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk hefty fines and even termination from their jobs.

Here in the first epicenter of the pandemic outside of China, Italy has paid a hefty price with lockdowns that have crippled the economy and the deaths of more than 140,000 people. Vaccine mandates have become the primary strategy in moving forward, yet a small number of people continue to resist.

The only alternative to getting vaccinated is having recovered from the infection, which must be registered on a person's national health card. "I am urgently looking for a positive and I am willing to pay," one desperate anti-vaxxer wrote, according to Italian police who are cracking down on the clandestine COVID meetups and other scams ahead of the Feb. 1 deadline for the over-50 vaccine mandate.

Soon after the announcement of the new law, enterprising opportunists started offering COVID parties where people who tested positive for the disease mix and mingle with those who want to catch it—one racket in Tuscany even includes a truffle dinner with Barolo wine, along with a positive-testing infection for around $150.