After more than a year of lockdown, quarantining, and social distancing, cicadas aren’t the only ones ready to get it on with reckless abandon. On Friday, the Biden administration announced an unlikely partnership to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations: promoting new dating app features that will help the recently vaccinated find love (or, at least, one night of inoculated fun).
“We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive: a vaccination,” Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser on the ongoing COVID-19 response, said during a press conference. The White House is said to have originally reached out to Tinder with the idea of adding vaccination stickers and offering those who got their jabs premium content — all in the hopes of reaching Biden’s goal of getting at least 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4. Tinder was already considering what it could do to promote COVID-19 vaccinations, according to USA Today, and had launched a similar program during the presidential election with the hopes of encouraging people to register and vote.
Tinder immediately bought into the idea, prompting other dating apps to follow suit. Plenty of Fish, Hinge, and Match are offering “incentives” that either promote vaccinated date-seekers to other users or will provide them with “credits for premium content,” according to the USA Today report. Bumble and Badoo have also added “I’m vaccinated” badges, and are offering premium features, like Spotlight and SuperSwipes, to users who are vaccinated.
Dating apps specifically for Black and Latinx singles are also getting in on the fun, despite the fact that vaccinations have been disproportionately made available to wealthy white communities while COVID-19 impacts Black and Latinx communities at larger rates. BLK, a dating app for Black romance-seekers, is offering vaccinated users a free “Boost” that will allow their profile to be one of the first seen by potential matches. BLK will also be adding a “Vaxified” badge option to users’ profiles on June 1. And Chispa, the largest dating app for Latinx singles, offers users the “Vacundao” badge and will also be “boosting” vaccinated users’ profiles for free.
Kevin Munoz, the White House assistant press secretary, went so far as to demonstrate what the “I’m vaccinated” badge looks like, and shared it on Twitter. Which, apparently, moved Munoz’s mother to ask: “What do you do for the White House?”
It looks like if the Biden administration has their way, hot girl and thigh guy summer will be even more wild than we had originally planned. Let’s make those cicadas jealous!
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