Covid vaccine stickers come to dating apps in UK
UK online daters will be able to choose to display a badge on their profiles to show if they have been vaccinated against Covid or support the jab drive.
However there will be no way of verifying whether those displaying the badge have genuinely had the vaccine.
Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime and Muzmatch have all signed up to the scheme, in partnership with the UK government.
The idea of vaccine badges on dating apps was launched in the US in May.
Some of the apps are including additional incentives for those who say they are vaccinated – such as free credits or access to premium features that usually cost extra, like profile boosts, virtual rose giving and “super likes”.
Bumble will also enable its members to share pandemic dating preferences such as views on social distancing, mask-wearing and whether users are comfortable meeting in crowded places.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi described the new initiative as an “incredible asset” to the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
A recent YouGov poll of nearly 5,000 UK adults found that only 28% of those who responded said they would not date someone unvaccinated, with 2% saying they would not date someone who had received the jab.
In England and Wales people aged over 30 are now eligible for the vaccine. In Northern Ireland and Wales it is available to everyone over 18. The government says that around 40 million people have received at least one of the two doses so far.
However, there are some concerns around vaccine status and privacy.
Last month the NHS revised its booking system in England after complaints that it was possible to work out how many jabs an individual had received, by inputting basic details such as their name and postcode.
Privacy campaigner Dr Stephanie Hare said that because the dating app badge is voluntary and no official documentation is required, the privacy risk is low.
“It’s already very common in the gay male dating community to share HIV status,” she added.
LGBTQ-focused dating apps such as Grindr and Scruff have so far not been named in the government’s Covid jab scheme.