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Dating Apps & COVID Vaccination: White House Announces New Partnership

Dating Apps & COVID Vaccination: White House Announces New Partnership

The dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone, September 2020. (Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

During a White House COVID-19 Response team press briefing Friday, White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt announced a new initiative to partner with dating apps in the latest government drive to encourage young adults to get vaccinated.

In addition to Slavitt, the conference featured panelists Anthony Fauci, CDC director  Rochelle Walensky, and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. Slavitt offered statistics that showcasing proof of vaccination on dating apps yields more romantic opportunities on the platform.

“According to one of the sites, OKCupid, people who display their vaccination status are 14% more likely to get a match,” Slavitt stated.

“Social distancing and dating were always a bit of a challenging combination,” he continued. “We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive: a vaccination.”

In addition to OKCupid, Tinder and Hinge are among the dating apps involved in the program. Slavitt mentioned the benefits and incentives the apps will provide to verified vaccinated users.

“These dating apps will now allow vaccinated people to display badges, which show their vaccination status, filter people specifically to see only people who are vaccinated, and offer premium content details of which I cannot get into. But apparently they include things like boosts and super swipes,” he remarked.

Special features for the inoculated include a free “rose” to Hinge users who set their vaccination status and a free “super like” on Tinder, which allow the user to signal interest in a potential match and increase the chances of matching and connection.

“The app will also help locate people places to get vaccinated,” Slavitt said. Tinder will offer a vaccine location tool and directions to official data and information about the vaccination from the World Health Organization.

The dating-app program comes amid a White House effort to promote mass vaccination in the United States, especially among adults under 35, many of whom have abstained and remain hesitant to get the shot. Since the vaccines’ development, release, and rollout by multiple pharmaceutical companies, supply has outpaced demand, resulting in a domestic vaccine surplus.

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