Vaccines

The White House Is Hoping New Vaccine Partnership With Dating Apps Will Convince Singles To Get Their Shots

This new initiative will "help people meet people who have that universally attractive quality: They've been vaccinated from COVID-19," said White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt.  

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In its latest political gamble, the Biden administration is hoping that the power of dating apps can be harnessed to slow the spread of infectious disease for once. On Friday, the White House announced it was partnering with online matchmaking companies to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Under this new plan, dating app and website users who've already received the vaccine, and are now on the prowl for a partner, will get special badges or "stickers" to signal their immunization status to prospective matches. To sweeten the pot, companies will also be offering free premium upgrades to the vaccinated in the form of "Super Likes" (Tinder), "SuperSwipes" (Bumble), and other means of boosting the visibility of one's profile.

Participating companies include Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Badoo, BLK, Hinge, Chispa, Match, and Plenty of Fish.

"We believe that it's particularly important to reach young people where they are in an effort to get them vaccinated," said Andy Slavitt, one of Biden's COVID-19 advisers, at a briefing today, adding that the new dating app features will "help people meet people who have that universally attractive quality: They've been vaccinated from COVID-19."

The companies themselves are doing what they can to hype this new partnership. A press release from Tinder notes that mentions of vaccines on its app have increased 800 percent since the start of the pandemic. OkCupid has declared being vaccinated the new "tall, dark, and handsome" in a blog post. The company said that it will rely on users to self-certify that they've been vaccinated.

This dating app initiative from the White House is only the latest carrot being offered to those who've yet to take advantage of free COVID-19 vaccines.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced last week that the state would run a lottery to award five vaccinated adult residents $1 million each, paid for by federal COVID-19 relief funds. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is running similar sweepstakes with a maximum prize of $400,000. New York is topping them both with a vaccine lottery that will shower the winner with $5 million. Oregon announced its own vaccine lottery today, too.

Ohio health officials report that vaccinations are up 28 percent since the launch of its "Vax-a-Million" effort, according to CNN.

Other states are getting even more inventive. Throughout the month of May, New Jersey is running a "shot and a beer" campaign whereby Garden State residents can get a free beer at participating breweries by showing proof of vaccination. Beer and wine trade associations in Washington state plan to launch similar "pints for pokes" initiatives in June.

When considering the long list of things governments could be doing to get shots in arms, voluntary partnerships and positive incentives like the new dating app initiative or state-run lotteries seem relatively unobjectionable.

They're certainly better than mandated "vaccine passports" or legal requirements to get vaccinated. Nevertheless, it's hard not to see this latest initiative from the White House as a bit pushy and invasive.

COVID-19 vaccines are free and conveniently available to anyone who wants them. They've proven spectacularly effective at preventing deaths and serious symptoms from the disease.

People who have yet to get their shot are thus only endangering themselves. That might not be a wise choice, but it is a personal one. There should be a corresponding limit to how much effort the government devotes to encouraging the vaccine-hesitant/apathetic to protect themselves.

NEXT: Randi Weingarten's Hilariously Awful Media Rehabilitation Tour

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  1. And the public private partnership between government and tech continues unabated. But they are private companies so it’s OK.

    1. Not only is it OK, it is OKCupid.

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    3. But it’s the free market’s choice to go in or not. That’s what it’s all about.

      Don’t like it? Don’t use their app then. Simple eh?

      1. You really don’t see a problem with government enlisting private companies to produce propaganda for them?
        You wouldn’t object if it was, for example, the Trump administration nudging dating apps to have a “build the wall” badge?

        1. shitlunches would lose his shitlunch if that happened.

        2. What do you define as “propaganda”, versus public service announcements?

          1. Wow jeff… just pathetic at this point. Then again you approve government doing million dollar lotteries as propaganda.

            1. Shush. Adults are trying to have a conversation.

              1. Nobody likes you

      2. IG Farben used to have a partnership with a government.

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  2. Or people who have yet to get the shot have already had it and are immune.

    Hopefully there will be a massive push back against the ever increasing totalitarianism that is going on, but I’m not optimistic

    1. According to The Science(TM), the existence of the Human immune systems is a far-right conspiracy theory. Everyone needs to get a vaccine which creates a magic virus-repelling force field.

      1. This comment platform really needs a “like” button. I’d push it 10 times just for the trademark on The Science.

        1. The like button is one of the worst inventions of the 21st century. It’s a social conditioning tool that motivates individuals to adopt groupthink.

  3. Eight full inches of rock hard antibodies.

  4. “Self certify”
    Nobody lies on dating apps.

    1. I’m surprised at how many other Navy SEALS are on EHarmony.

      1. Navy SEAL, but hung like a walrus.

    2. On the other hand… who’s going to lie about this? I feel like people who think the vaccine will make them more attractive would just get the thing, and that many people who aren’t taking it are shouting on the rooftops that they never will.

  5. Participating companies include Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Badoo, BLK, Hinge, Chispa, Match, and Plenty of Fish.

    But not Grinder? Homophobes!!!!!

    Of course if you’re looking on Grinder, covid isn’t the disease you need to be concerned with.

    1. Of course if you’re looking on Grinder, covid isn’t the disease you need to be concerned with.

      Calling homosexuality a disease is racist.

      1. So, racism is gay?

      2. I think the joke was “aids”

    2. Covid passport? Required. AIDS passport? Racist!

      1. As much as I hate to know certain things, Grinder already has this question on its profile for AIDS.

  6. She’s not taking your injection until you get your injection.

    1. Just not funny at all.

  7. “The company said that it will rely on users to self-certify that they’ve been vaccinated.”

    lulz

  8. hoping that the power of dating apps can be harnessed to slow the spread of infectious disease

    lol hope is now a strategy.

  9. They’ve proven spectacularly effective at preventing deaths and serious symptoms from the disease.

    I’m having trouble thinking of another vaccine that was a more ineffective spectacle. Maybe HPV. Maybe.

  10. >>”pints for pokes”

    weekend nights @ksu … I mean it *was* the 80s maybe things are different now?

  11. This new initiative will “help people meet people who have that universally attractive quality: They’ve been vaccinated from COVID-19,” said White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt.

    Once again, the reality of DC is Veep, not House of Cards.

  12. Participating companies include Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Badoo, BLK, Hinge, Chispa, Match, and Plenty of Fish.

    Silicon Valley is full of Wild West Capitalists, not interested in any entanglements with the DC political class.

    1. “Facebook is full of true believers who really, really, really are not doing it for the money, and really, really will not stop until every man, woman, and child on earth is staring into a blue-framed window with a Facebook logo.”

    2. you’d think nobody ever watched a Twilight Zone

  13. Well that’s one way to help you weed out the neurotics while sitting through profiles. Wonder if the companies will let you sort based on who doesn’t have the sticker.

    1. A number of profiles have a masked face in the first pic. Swipe to left. Others have garbage about Trump. “He you Trumpsters. I’m not interested if you support a ….”. They lean left and get swiped there.

  14. Biden and Harris both <a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-and-harris-preemptively-sow-doubt-on-trump-vaccine-announcement/ar-BB18QXKj&quot; sowed doubts about trusting Trump on a vaccine. Harris said she’d wait until “the public health professionals and the scientists told us that we can trust it” the underlying suggestion is it wouldn’t be safe or effective. Meanwhile Biden said “politics shouldn’t play any role” in vaccine development, and “My guess is he is going to announce a vaccine. He’s going to say it’s going to be available around Election Day. He’s going to hype it,”

    But now they want people to take it. Where’s the thanks, let alone the apologies?

    1. Don’t forget to mention those wonderful fact checkers who gleefully labeled the claim that a vaccine would be ready before the end of the year as a pants on fire lie.

      It turns out the vaccine was ready in the fall, just as claimed.

  15. If I used dating services, I would want to highlight the people who are virtue-signaling that they are vaccinated, so that I can weed them out.

  16. Among the target ages this will amount to an “I’m indoctrinated” badge showing acceptance of proper group think.

  17. Ohio health officials report that vaccinations are up 28 percent since the launch of its “Vax-a-Million” effort

    Oh, FFS! How about a chance to win a billion dollars if you can go a year without offing someone, say, or getting a speeding ticket?

    1. Uh… Can I get some of that action?

  18. How about some mandatory passports in order to use a dating service?

  19. Partnership with dating apps? Really? I know the basic behind it and maybe it’ll works.
    Nice article you have btw

  20. Oh dear god in heaven please make it stop.

    I just turned 45, and I am so glad. I wouldn’t be sorry if I was a little older. At least I got about 40 great years in before the government partnered with dating apps to encourage people to get a vaccine for an illness that is really not very dangerous to the demographic group that utilizes said apps.

    The only hope is that this kind of sophomoric bullshit tends to backfire – rebellion is seductive – so like others here, I will be looking for those who are NOT virtue-signaling conformists. I’ll be swiping the good way for those who refuse to put their vaccination status on their damn dating profile.

    So we have a disease that is very dangerous for a small percentage of the population (the elderly or the already ill). In response, toddlers wear masks and schools are closed and college kids are expelled for not masking at off-campus outdoor barbecues and bars sell 5 fries for a dollar to dodge occupancy limits and we yell at people who pull a mask down under their nose. Even the libertarians are dangerously close to endorsing public shame for those who don’t want a vaccine (as this article notes, this is NOT for the protection of others like the magic face cloth). HIPAA is no longer a concern but just for this ONE disease. (“Hey, you want to come in to my establishment? Tell everyone here about your personal decision regarding vaccination! Show me your passport and you get a wristband.”)

    At least this is kinda funny?

  21. How about asking users about something relevant to the app, like herpes?

  22. You know what is missing from all of these pronouncements about vaccinations?

    “Or has had Covid 19.”

    Literally millions of people have had it. According to Google, it is at least 33 million. That’s 10% of the population. And that’s only the number that tested.

    But they should have at least as good immunity as people who receive the vaccine.

    Yet when government officials make pronouncements about who can wear masks and who can attend events, they only talk about vaccination. And it isn’t just government officials. Editorialists, pundits, reporters and political gadflies all agree, vaccination is the only thing that counts. Science communicators never speak of people who tested positive for the virus and now test negative.

    I thought we were going to follow the science. I guess that’s a little too complicated.

    1. Immunity.

      Vaccine.

      Unless I’ve misread the definition of these words then I don’t believe either apply to vaxxes for this disease.

      There is no life-long immunity as with smallpox, polio, etc., type shots. The vax does not provide it. And, eventually, your own immune system will shuck the antibodies generated (if you got it) and you, too, will be susceptible again (if you were to begin with).

      From what I read it’s a corona virus (cold-type) that constantly mutates, sometimes more deadly but most often not. When they do take a turn to the bad, we get these outbreaks.

      So, my in monkey mind I see it as akin to the flu, cold, or any one of the numerous nasty little 24-48hr bugs that travel around in the wintertime every year. Pols are already rumbling about ‘booster shots’ needed in the future.

      So, to my point – these are not a vaxxes and do not provide immunity.

      And finally, if all you must do is say ‘I’m vaxxed’ or present the flimsy, easily counterfeited ‘vax card’ (have you actually seen one?
      ha!) then this can’t be as deadly a disease as portrayed then can it?

      IMHO

      1. Smallpox vaccine is 95% effective just like these. It does not give you lifelong immunity it is just that the disease was eradicated by mass vaccination.

        Polio is still around but has been eliminated here. It is 90% effective with one dose. It is unknown how long it lasts. Three doses are given to get a longer response.

        Tetanus vaccine only lasts for about 10 years. Pertussis 7-20.

        Measles vaccine is thought to produce lifelong immunity.

        We don’t know yet how long these will last we know that so far it is at least 6 months. These are very much real vaccines. The mRNA ones use a different way to introduce the antigen. The rest are more traditional vaccines. The end result is the same. Your body has an immune response and will produce antibodies and cells which will recognize a part of the virus so it cannot attach and reproduce.

        The goal in immunization is to have less virus around. It needs a host to replicate. If you do that enough you can get herd immunity or at least a much more manageable problem.

        Also if you have fewer viruses around it has less chance to mutate and overcome defenses.

      2. Also influenza mutates much more quickly which is why it is hard to pin down. So far what we have seems to be working against known mutations.

        A cold, or upper respiratory infection is caused by a number of different viruses so again much more difficult to vaccinate against.

        If we can get this one down to limited outbreaks it will be much easier to manage with greatly reduced morbidity and mortality.

        It is much more effective than flu vaccine which is only 50-60% most of the time.

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  24. Most these companies are actually owned by one larger company. If anything, the government should be looking at them for anti-trust purposes. Basically they bought out OKCupid and Plenty of Fish to sabotage them (they were free) in favor of their paid companies (Match)

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  26. Hello! Thank you for such an informative and interesting article. But it does not seem that these measures will not be effective enough. The stigma about vaccines is much stronger than a dating app. In addition, it looks rather strained, are there really no unresolved problems left, and now we will deal with this? I hope our government will do something important for all of us and solve real issues. By the way how users will affirm their vaccined status?
    CBD feel like

  27. So you get poked and then you get poked, or become the poker.

    I hear the ladies down on 7th avenue are offering a freebie if you show them your card.

    Meanwhile the Ohio lottery thing seems to be working. They are up 28% in vaccinations. The money had already been allocated so they had to spend it anyway. I think I saw another state is going to do that.

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