Many popular dating apps are going all-in on vaccine awareness
The White House’s top COVID-19 official Andy Slavitt recently cited OKCupid data that users were “14% more likely to find a match when they displayed their vaccination status. We have finally found the one thing that makes all of us more attractive, a vaccination.” With that in mind, several dating apps, including Tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Match, Chispa, BLK, and Bumble have teamed up with the White House to raise vaccination awareness across their dating apps and sites.
The White House announced Friday that it is partnering with the apps to raise vaccine awareness among the users of dating apps and encourage them to get immunized, CNBC reports.
According to a February Quinnipiac poll, 59 percent of Americans have gotten at least one vaccine shot, but 42% of 18-to-34-year-olds (i.e. a significant user base on dating apps) say they don’t want it. CNBC reports that an analysis of published studies found that young adults aged 20 to 49 accounted for 70% of the spread of COVID last year. In addition, doctors report seeing more young adults admitted to hospitals with severe symptoms due to the spread of more dangerous variants.
Slavitt disclosed last week that his son, who is 19, suffers from “long-COVID,” a phrase for those who continue to experience symptoms long after the initial infection. Slavitt admitted his son still undergoes shortness of breath and frequent flu-like symptoms six months after contracting the virus. Scientists have reported long-COVID has been seen in numerous young adults who experienced minor symptoms initially.
There is higher urgency to reach out to vaccine-hesitant young adults, with more variants emerging, the summer weather approaching, and mask mandates fading.
“The pandemic has also had a negative impact on young people’s social lives. Social distancing and dating were always a bit of a challenging combination,” Slavitt told reporters.
Single, sexy, and….vaccinated?
As part of President Biden’s mission of having 70% of U.S. adults vaccinated with at least one shot by the Fourth of July, Slavitt advised that dating apps Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, BLK, Hinge, Match, Chispa, Bumble, and Badoo will start rolling out features to encourage jabs among platform users. The apps serve over 50 million people combined in the U.S.
In a smart move, users will be able to display badges on their profiles indicating whether they have been vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated.
One Twitter user came up with the apropos hashtag “shotgirlsummer” for all the post-vax, post-pandemic dating that is sure to occur.
Other apps will give users premium content like “boosts,” “super likes” and “super swipes” if they’ve been vaccinated, and search filters so that users can specifically seek others who have been vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated.
OkCupid said its features will be integrated on Monday; Chispa and BLK indicated theirs will be adopted on June 1. The other apps will start to roll out the new vaccination content in the next few weeks.
“In all seriousness, people are interested in other things in life besides their vaccine. But the vaccine enables people to get back to the things they enjoy in life,” Slavitt said, acknowledging that people want to discover how they can go back to something close to their normal lives in a safe way.
Shot girl summer, indeed.