Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Scanners 'Checking People For COVID Vaccination' In Romania

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Scanners 'Checking People For COVID Vaccination' In Romania Thermal Scan

Does a video show people being scanned in Bucharest to check whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, as a way to control the population? No, that's not true: the news report's footage, which dates from April 2020, shows a temperature scan meant to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, and Lead Stories has previously debunked claims that vaccines turn people magnetic or that scanners can detect if someone has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The claim originated from a video (archived here), posted on TikTok on August 10, 2023, displaying this caption in a graphic overlay (translated from Romanian into English by the Lead Stories staff):

here's the money borrowed by Cațu...only fools really believe that these have anything to do with their covid...this is digitalization and total control...if you don't have the vacxine you're kept outside...

(Florin Cîțu served as Romania's Prime Minister between December 23, 2020, and November 25, 2021, at the peak of the COVID emergency. His name is misspelt as Cațu in the text appearing on the video).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-08-16 at 10.03.09.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Aug 16 06:54:59 2023 UTC)

The original 2020 news report, by Mediafax news agency, shows the town hall building of Bucharest's Sector 1 - one of the six administrative units in which the capital of Romania is divided - which had recently acquired an advanced body temperature detection system. It was meant to detect the body temperature of the town hall staff as soon as they entered the building, in order to limit the local spread of SARS-CoV-2.

If the scanned body temperature surpassed the limit of what is usually considered typical for an adult (37.3˚C or 99°F by default), the person would have been sent home and advised to contact their doctor.

One month later that same year, the mayor of Bucharest's Sector 1 Dan Tudorache bought approximately 200 of such thermal scanners for the sector's public schools, but an investigation later showed that the scanners had been bought without a tender and for a price five times higher than what they were offered for in online stores.

There is no proof that this machine scanned or tracked people for COVID vaccines. The claim is part of a larger misinformation narrative according to which COVID vaccines make the human body magnetic and/or can be tracked by electronic devices. Lead Stories has frequently debunked such claims.

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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