The refreshing taste of the COVID-19 vaccine kept him coming back for more.

Although it took a while, Japan’s vaccination program has gained a bit of momentum over the past month and is now slightly above the global rate. However, there are still many awaiting their shots as it largely remains limited to people over 65.

This is because early on the government decided to prioritize vaccinations beginning with health care workers, followed by senior citizens, and then all adults. It’s a somewhat controversial system and, as we will soon see, is not without its flaws.

▼ Hope you like bureaucracy!

On 8 July a town in Hokkaido called Teshikaga announced that one of its residents, a man in his 80s, had secretly gotten two additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for a total of four jabs between the months of April and July.

The person in question has a job that involves him frequently traveling to a hospital outside of Teshikaga. This work appeared to have made him eligible for the first wave of health care worker vaccinations and he got two shots at the hospital in April and May.

In June, he also received vouchers from the town of Teshikaga and a notification that he was eligible for the second wave of senior citizen vaccinations. “I thought the more times I got it, the more effective it would be,” the man reportedly said, explaining afterward why he had decided to go back for even more COVID-19 shots.

However, on 6 July, Teshikaga received a bill from the hospital that had vaccinated the man the first time around. Aided by the fact that the town’s population is only about 7,600, the oversight was quickly noticed and made public. The man’s physical condition was checked and no abnormalities were found so far.

▼ If the experience of others is anything to go by, his arm must have hurt like crazy

Comments online were generally disapproving of such unscrupulous behavior but took solace in the fact that the man unwittingly turned himself into a human guinea pig for the benefit of science.

“Mutant grampa!”
“He’s got a pretty good lust for life for a guy in his 80s, and he’s now a valuable test case.”
“I hope they are getting a lot of data off him.”
“Is he going to be OK?”
“What a guy! To submit yourself to four inoculations and make yourself a human experiment.”
“Normally I’d laugh at something like this, but wasting vaccines is unforgivable.”
“He’s like the polar opposite of an anti-vaxxer.”

Indeed, this man seems to have created a whole new ideology regarding vaccinations. Perhaps “vax-maniax” could describe people like this man who crave more inoculations in the belief that it gives them an added level of protection than the recommended dosage. Of course, that would be ill-advised as it just puts people at a slightly higher risk of side effects such as fever.

Granted, we can’t rule out the possibility that recklessly dabbling in science bestows super-powers like it did with the Fantastic Four, but sadly cool stuff like that rarely happens in reality and you’re far more likely to get arrested or die or something.

But since this ship has already sailed, we’ll at least keep an eye on this guy and see if he gets the uncanny ability to shoot powerful corona-waves from his fingertips or just gets screwed out of his annual five million yen vaccine disability compensation because he violated the rules.

Stay tuned, true believers!

Source: Tokyo Shimbun Web, Hachima Kiko, NCBI
Top image: Pakutaso
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