Online daters in the UK will be now able to choose to display stickers on their profiles to show if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or support the National Health Service (NHS) vaccination programme in a new awareness campaign launched from Monday.
These dating apps will add new features to support the new “every vaccination gives us hope” campaign to encourage the younger population to get their vaccines. These dating apps include leading brands like Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime and Muzmatch have teamed up with the UK government to encourage their users to get COVID-19 vaccinations.
“I am thrilled that we are partnering up with dating apps to boost vaccine uptake across the country. This is another incredible asset to our vaccination programme – the biggest and most successful in our history,” said Nadhim Zahawi, UK Vaccine Deployment Minister.
“The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and we have made incredible progress so far with over three-quarters of adults receiving at least one dose. I encourage everyone who is eligible to roll up their sleeves and get the jab – it could save your life and protect your loved ones,” he said.
“Dating apps and services are the start point for about a third of all new relationships. When meeting in person was not possible, services were an important way of meeting others online, with the hope of meeting up later when safe to do so,” said George Kidd, Online Dating Association (ODA) Chief Executive.
These new features will help the dating app users to show their support for the vaccine on their profile and give in-app bonuses to those who say they are vaccinated. Badges and stickers like free “Super Likes”, and other boost-type features will be included to display on the dating profiles. Users will also start seeing advertisements and banners for the government’s “every vaccination gives us hope” campaign.
“About 10 million people in the UK use or have used dating apps and services… For us, every step to a return to people meeting up, making new friends, starting new relationships is a step forward for us all,” he said. Although providing vaccination status on these apps is optional, data has shown that people are more likely to date someone who has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
“We know that single people are looking to take control of their dating lives as we head into summer. The ‘COVID conversation’ is already front of mind for two in three people on Bumble, so it’s important to make it easier to feel comfortable and safe on a date,” said Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s Vice President for Europe.
“To do this, we’ll launch a new ‘vaccinated’ badge along with in-app preferences so you can easily communicate if you’re comfortable dating indoors or outdoors only. In support of the government’s vaccination campaign, we will also direct people in-app to learn how to get vaccinated, including linking to educational materials and information on how to find the nearest vaccination site through the NHS,” she said. The partnership comes as people aged 30 and over are now eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
The target of offering everybody aged between 50, the clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers a first dose of the vaccine by April 15 and over has already been achieved by the NHS and is on track to offer a jab to all adults in the UK by the end of July.
James Preece, UK’s leading celebrity Dating Coach, said: “There’s no doubt that dating has been different and somewhat difficult for many individuals over the last 13 months. “Having the vaccine is one of the most important things people can do to keep themselves and others safe. The fact that the leading dating apps have come together to support members being vaccinated will go a long way to making people feel confident meeting in person and dating again.”
As part of the drive, the NHS is keen to spread the message that vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are also more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from the deadly virus and there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others.