Jab for a Shag? UK Govt Enlists Dating Apps to Promote Coronavirus Vaccines

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: The "Tinder" app logo is seen amongst other dating apps on a mobile phone screen on November 24, 2016 in London, England. Following a number of deaths linked to the use of anonymous online dating apps, the police have warned users to be aware of …
Leon Neal/Getty Images

The British government has reached agreements with leading dating apps to encourage younger people to take coronavirus vaccines, through offering incentives and the ability for users to tout their vaccination status to their prospective romantic flings.

Starting on Monday, Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime, and Muzmatch will embark on a government-sponsored campaign to promote the jab amongst the British youth.

Users of the apps will be able to display badges on their profiles to pronounce that they have already had the vaccine or to show support for the vaccination campaign, the Department of Health and Social Care announced.

Some of the dating apps will also include incentives for those who claim to be vaccinated, including free credits or access to otherwise paid premium features such as the ability to give “super likes” and profile boosts.

The “women first” dating app Bumble said that it would also give members the ability to state their preferences on issues like social distancing, meeting in crowded spaces, and mask-wearing.

Bumble’s Vice President for Europe, Naomi Walkland 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 2 in 3 people on Bumble, so it’s important to make it easier to feel comfortable and safe on a date.”

The Muslim dating app, Muzmatch, said that as part of its campaign it will promote content from medics answering common questions about the vaccines on its social media platforms.

The founder and CEO of Muzmatch, Shahzad Younas said: “We at Muzmatch are really thrilled to be working with the UK government on the vaccine campaign.

“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.”

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “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.

“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 scheme to turn to sex to sell the vaccines to younger people comes as the offer of jabs has been extended to all those in the UK over the age of thirty.

The policy also represents a marked shift from the government’s previous moves to ban single people from hooking up during the lockdowns, quietly introducing a sex ban for people who did not already live together in July of last year.

The restrictions were loosened for those in “committed relationships” in September but were later reinstated during the last national lockdown in December.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.