Daters in the UK will be able to display their vaccination status in the form of a badge as part of a new campaign to boost the uptake of Covid jabs.
Dating brands including Tinder, Hinge and Bumble, Match, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime and Muzmatch have teamed up with the government to encourage users to get Covid vaccines.
From 7 June, the brands will give in-app bonuses to those who say they are vaccinated including free “super likes”, which usually cost extra.
‘Feeling safe on a date’
Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s vice president for Europe, said: “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.
“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.”
‘Clearing up myths’
Users will also start seeing adverts and banners for the “every vaccination gives us hope” campaign.
The Department of Health and Social Care said providing vaccination status on these apps is optional but added that data has shown that people are more likely to date someone who has had a Covid-19 jab.
Shahzad Younas, founder and CEO at Muzmatch, said: “We understand the concerns young Muslims have regarding the vaccination, in particular those that are in the process of getting married.
“Misinformation has been spreading at an alarming rate in our communities, which is why we’re glad to work with the NHS to clear up myths about the vaccine and encourage our members to get vaccinated.
“As a marriage app helping single Muslims find love, we knew when the pandemic hit we had to act fast to ensure people could meet safely.
“We were the first Muslim marriage app, that rolled out video and voice calling for our members, so that they could meet on virtual dates.
“As we begin to return to a new normal, it’s vital that young Muslims do so by getting vaccinated, to ensure the safety of not only themselves but their loved ones too.”
‘Roll up your sleeves’
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the badge feature is another asset to the government’s vaccination programme.
“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.”
The Government has set a target for every adult in the UK to be offered a first dose by the end of July.
Additional reporting by PA.