HSE hooks up with dating apps to promote Covid-19 vaccine

15 Jul 2021

Image: © Denys Prykhodov/Stock.adobe.com

Users of Tinder, Hinge and other services will be able to add vaccination badges to their profiles.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) has announced a partnership with Match Group’s suite of dating apps to promote the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Match Group owns a number of popular online dating services including Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge and PlentyOfFish. Beginning this week, those apps will roll out vaccine-related features to users in Ireland, including profile badges and links to information about the vaccine and how to avail of it.

On Tinder, users will be able to add stickers to their profile with messages such as ‘vaccines save lives’ and ‘vaccinated’. Those who avail of these will be given an additional Super Like as a reward for helping to promote the vaccine. Non-paying users ordinarily get only one Super Like every 24 hours. This feature is deployed when users want their interest in another user to stand out with a notification that is highlighted by a bright blue border and star.

Tinder will also add a help centre where users can learn more about vaccines.

Hinge, PlentyOfFish and Match.com users will be able to share their vaccination status on their profiles. The latter two will offer free bonuses to users who do so.

Match.com’s AI-enabled dating coach will also encourage users to get vaccinated and adopt the profile badge.

On OkCupid, those who add an ‘I’m vaccinated’ badge to their profile will be featured in the app’s ‘vaccinated stack’, a special section which will allow vaccinated users to match with each other.

Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE, said: “The vaccination programme is a really important tool in our battle against Covid-19, and we’ve seen incredible support for the programme among the Irish people since we started.

“Thanks to Match Group, people using their apps can be sure they’re getting information on Covid-19 vaccines from the trusted source of HSE.ie as well as showing their support for Covid-19 vaccines on their dating profiles. It’s a great way to bring our campaign messages to a wide audience in Ireland.”

Alexandre Lubot, CEO of Match Group EMEA and APAC, added: “Match Group brands are honoured to support the Irish Government’s vaccine advocacy. Widespread vaccination is a crucial element in getting back to our normal lives as quickly as possible.

“We’re encouraging our users to get their shots so they can once again meet in real life and make meaningful connections.”

The HSE says approximately 70pc of Ireland’s adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, with about 56pc fully vaccinated.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin