Bodycam footage has emerged of two Florida women being berated for their ‘selfishness’ after showing up to a COVID-19 vaccine site dressed as ‘grannies’ to try to con their way into getting the shot.
The pair have not been identified and have not been charged with any crime but sheriffs in Orange County near Orlando are investigating.
They registered for the vaccines online, claiming they were over 65, then turned up for appointments in what health officials described as a ‘disguise’.
It worked the first time – when the pair showed up at the Orlando Convention Center on Wednesday, they were carrying CDC cards confirming they’d already had one dose.
One of them was wearing what looked like a shower cap, a long cardigan, a face mask and a face shield. The other left all of her brown hair loose though and wore a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.
When health workers looked at their IDs, they saw the pair were actually only 34 and 44 and therefore ineligible for one of the coveted vaccines. The names were the same as the names they’d registered online with so it seems the first time around, health workers simply didn’t check their date of birth before giving them the shots.
The cops were called and the two were chastised for their dishonesty before being let off with a trespassing warning and told not to come back.
‘Do you know what you have done?! You’ve stolen a vaccine from someone who needs it more than you. And you’re not going to get your second one so it’s a whole waste of time we’ve just wasted here on this.
‘We’re not even sure if they’re going to press charges against you and take you to jail right now. So, we’re at that point. Just for your selfishness of stealing a vaccine.
‘You gotta wait your turn!’ one of the officers in the video said.
This is the moment the two women were confronted by police at the Orlando Convention Center after showing up for their second COVID vaccine dressed as grannies
The two women stood silently while the cops berated them for their ‘selfishness’
The women were wearing protective masks and shields as part of their disguise
Don’t come back! The women were filmed walking away from the convention center after being told they’d be arrested if they ever came back
Seconds later, the pair were shown standing in front of the officers while having a trespassing warning read to them.
The officers told them they were lucky they were not arrested and they replied: ‘We know. We appreciate it’.
One of the cops fumed: ‘Everything, the building, the parking garage – you will not be allowed back here.
‘It’s ridiculous that you’re here right now.’
Dr. Raul Pino of Florida Department of Health revealed what the women had done yesterday at a press conference, where he warned others against attempting vaccine fraud.
‘So yesterday, we realized a couple of young ladies came dressed up as grannies to get vaccinated for the second time.
‘So I don’t know how they escaped the first time, but they came vaccinated.
‘The bonnets, the gloves, the glasses, the whole thing. And they probably were in their 20s.
‘This is the hottest commodity that is out there right now, so we have to be very careful,’ he said.
Dr. Raul Pino of Florida Department of Health revealed what the women had done yesterday at a press conference, where he warned others against attempting vaccine fraud
The Orlando Convention Center, where the two women were caught pretending to be grannies, this week
It’s unclear what kind of charges the women will face.
Initially, deputies were called to escort them off the property for trespassing.
It’s unclear what happens if a person undergoes the first vaccine dose but not the second, or whether the women will need to wait and get the first dose again once they are eligible.
It is the latest example in a string of incidents across the US and the world where people, desperate to get their hands on the coveted shots, have lied about their age, address or identity to get it.
In Canada, a wealthy couple chartered a plane to the Yukon to get vaccines that were intended for Indigenous elders.
Rodney Baker, 55, and 32-year-old Ekaterina Baker flew 1,700 miles from Vancouver to Beaver Creek, a community of 90 people in Canada’s far northwest, on January 21.
They posed as visiting hotel workers to receive shots of the Moderna vaccine from a mobile clinic but were rumbled before they could fly home.
The Bakers were fined C$2,300 (US$1,800) for breaching Covid rules but community elders are demanding a tougher penalty be handed down.
The pair may now face jail time.
The women had their CDC card from the first dose. It’s unclear how they got past officials the first time (file image)