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

Social media users have been sharing posts which claim that a video of people having their hand scanned as they enter a market and a concert proves that vaccines brand people with the “mark of the beast”. This claim is false: the video shows temperature scans unrelated to the vaccine, and Reuters has previously debunked claims that vaccines mark or microchip people.

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

The posts show a Reuters video where a line of people have their right hands scanned by an official in a high-vis jacket before entering a market, and then a couple in a different location have 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 that they can attend events and more (here).

The caption on the posts suggests that the people in the video are being scanned to check whether 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 hands. This is from today. Friday, February 26, 2021. […] This is how it ends. Jesus returning to remove his people from the Earth. […] The prophecy from the Bible: […] ‘He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the beast or the number of his name.’”

The post is linked to a Christian conspiracy theory that coronavirus vaccines contain the “mark of the beast”, signifying the biblical End Time, when the Antichrist will allegedly force people to get his mark and worship him ( here , here , here ).

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


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

When the market footage was taken on Dec. 24, 2020 there was nothing in the Ministry of Health guidelines that says people had to be vaccinated before entering a market ( here , here ): vaccinations in Israel had just recently started on Dec. 19, 2020 (here). Even in February 2021, in Tel Aviv where the Reuters market footage was taken, people did not have to be vaccinated to go to a market so the people would not be checking people’s vaccination status with the scanners (here).


On Feb. 21, Israel launched a “green pass” system. Under it, recovered coronavirus patients and vaccinated people are given a “green pass” as an entry permit to certain places or facilities, as explained in more detail here .

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

Green passes are a QR code which can only be shown on an app or as a printed-out version, as explained here , here and here . Pictures of people showing green passes at the same event can be seen in Reuters photos here , here and here .

It appears that the video shared in the social media posts is showing temperature checks that were mandatory at the event: the sign visible in the background here of this Reuters photo has a picture of a temperature scanner resembling the machines being used in the social media posts, and the text below the picture says, “You have to get your temperature checked at the entrance. Entry is prohibited with a temperature over 38 degrees.”


Hand-held, no-contact temperature scanners which look similar to those in the social media posts are common and readily available to buy, as seen here , here and here .

No-contact thermometers have been commonly used during the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect against the spread of infection, as explained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration here .

Although it is more common for people’s temperature to be taken on their forehead (here), temperature can also be taken from the back of the hand or the wrist ( here , here , here ). Dr Tina Ardon from the Mayo Clinic (here) confirmed to Reuters that some non-contact thermometers can be used on the underside or the top of the wrist but these 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 temperature, not their vaccination status, through a code or microchip. Green pass vaccination certificates used in Israel come in the form of a QR code visible on an app or printed out, not as a mark on the right hand.

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

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