A new reason to swipe right? Dating apps adding vax badges
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is pushing a new reason to swipe right: vaccination badges and “super swipes” for people who've gotten their coronavirus shots.
The Biden administration said Friday it's teaming up with dating apps to showcase the benefits of getting a shot.
Apps like Hinge, Tinder, Match and Bumble are offering special incentives to people who roll up their sleeves, including badges showing vaccination status and free access to premium content. BLK and Chispa will boost profiles of those who are vaccinated, to make them more visible to potential matches. And OKCupid will even let users filter out potential partners based on whether they’ve gotten a vaccine.
The White House says the apps will also direct users to learn how to get vaccinated, including connecting them with educational materials and information on how to find the nearest vaccination site. The administration pointed to research from OKCupid that found those who were already or were planning to get vaccinated received 14% more matches on the app.
“We have finally found the one thing that makes us more attractive — a vaccination,” said White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt.
Beware: Like a would-be date's professed height or age, there is no way to verify the vaccination status of the dating app users.
The administration is stepping up its efforts to sustain demand for COVID-19 shots as President Joe Biden looks to meet his goal of delivering at least one dose to 70% of adult Americans by July 4. The nation is now at 60.5%.
Other promotional efforts include free rides to and from vaccination sites from ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, corporate giveaways and state lotteries that offer potential cash prizes to lucky vaccinated individuals.
Incentives have helped the rate of first vaccinations tick up from a low of about 551,000 per day to more than 630,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.