Fact check: Video shows scanners checking temperature, not vaccination mark or microchip


Social media users have shared posts that claim a video of people having their hands scanned as they enter a market and a concert proves that vaccines mark people with the ‘mark of the beast’. This claim is false: the video shows temperature scans unrelated to the vaccine, and Reuters has previously denied claims that vaccines mark or microchipping people.

A doorman checks the senior residents’ ‘Green Pass’, a pass for those vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or those with suspected immunity, before they enter a live performance of Israeli singer Nurit Galron, at Yarkon Park, in Tel Aviv , Israel February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The posts show a Reuters video of a line of people having their right hands scanned by an official wearing a hi-vis jacket before entering a market, then a couple in a different location having their right hands scanned by an official dressed in black ( here , here ). The video also shows and talks about the new “green passes”, given to those in Israel who have been vaccinated so they can attend events and more (here).

The caption on the posts suggests that the people in the video are being scanned to see if they have been vaccinated, as those who have been vaccinated will have the “mark of the beast” on their right hand: “From a market in Israel. Look at their right hand. This is from today. Friday February 26, 2021. […] That’s how it ends. Jesus returning to take his people from the Earth. […] Bible prophecy: […] “He causes everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, which no one can buy or sell except he who has the mark of the beast or the name number.

The message is linked to a Christian conspiracy theory that coronavirus vaccines contain the “mark of the beast”, signifying the biblical end times, when the Antichrist would force people to obtain his mark and worship him ( here , here , here ).

Video in social media posts is genuine Reuters video, viewable here . The two cases of people being scanned shown in the clip were taken on two different occasions, neither of which was on February 26, 2021 as social media posts claim: the market images were taken on December 24, 2020 at a Tel Aviv market and images of people having their hands scanned by a man in black were taken on February 24, 2021 at the entrance to a Nurit Galron concert in Yarkon Park, Tel Aviv.


Temperature checks were introduced in markets in Israel when they reopened in May 2020 after the first lockdown, as explained in local news reports here , here , here . Photos from these local reports and videos from other media, including the Associated Press, here and here show the same scanners seen in social media posts and explain that they are intended to be used for temperature checks.

When the images of the market were taken on December 24, 2020, nothing in the Ministry of Health guidelines indicated that people should be vaccinated before entering a market ( here , here ): Vaccinations in Israel had just started on December 19, 2020 (here). Even in February 2021, in Tel Aviv where the Reuters market images were taken, people did not need to be vaccinated to go to a market so people would not check people’s vaccination status with scanners (here).


On February 21, Israel launched a “green pass” system. Under it, recovered coronavirus patients and those vaccinated receive a “green pass” as an entry permit to certain places or facilities, as further explained. here .

People needed a green pass to attend the event (here), but in the video shared in social media posts, it shows what is being scanned is the back of people’s right hand .

Green passes are a QR code that can only be displayed on an app or in print, as explained here , here and here . Photos of people showing green passes at the same event can be seen in Reuters photos here , here and here .

It appears that video shared in social media posts shows temperature checks that were mandatory at the event: the sign visible in the background here of this photo Reuters has an image of a temperature scanner resembling the machines used in social media posts, and the text below the image reads: ‘You must have your temperature checked upon entry. Entry is prohibited with a temperature above 38 degrees.


Handheld non-contact temperature scanners that look like those on social media posts are common and readily available for purchase, as seen here , here and here .

Non-contact thermometers have been commonly used during the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect against the spread of infection, as explained by the US Food and Drug Administration here .

Although it is more common for people’s temperature to be taken from their forehead (here), the temperature can also be taken on the back of the hand or wrist ( here , here , here ). Dr. Tina Ardon of the Mayo Clinic (here) confirmed to Reuters that some non-contact thermometers can be used on the underside or top of the wrist, but are less common than those used on the forehead or ears.

Reuters has previously debunked false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips (here, here, here) and other false claims related to the COVID-19 vaccine (here, here).


False. The video shows scanners checking people’s temperatures, not their vaccination status, using a code or microchip. Green Pass vaccination certificates used in Israel are in the form of a QR code visible on an app or printed, not as a mark on the right hand.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Learn more about our fact-checking work here.

Update March 3, 2021: Includes Mayo Clinic comment in paragraph 14


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