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As the second wave of COVID-19 ebbs and regional restrictions across India begin to ease, there is a marked increase in conversation around the population’s vaccination. Noticing a staggering increase in interactions around getting vaccinated, online dating apps OkCupid and Tinder have launched initiatives to create COVID-19 vaccine awareness. OkCupid has released an “I’m Vaccinated” profile badge and special stack to help users make informed choices regarding their dating lives. It has become the first dating app in India to launch such an initiative.

When asked, ‘Will you take the COVID-19 vaccine?’, 69 per cent of the app’s male users and 71 per cent of female users answered yes, they would take the vaccine as of June 2021.

When asked if they would cancel a date with someone who didn’t want to take the COVID-19 vaccine, 45 per cent of women said they would cancel their date in case their potential partner is opposed to the idea of taking a vaccine shot.

When a person declares their vaccination status on the app, the ‘I’ve vaccinated’ badge appears on their profile, and it’s expected to result in a 35 per cent increase in match rates. They are matched with those who are either already vaccinated or will be getting vaccinated soon.

For those who have not had a chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine yet but are open to it, OkCupid will help them with medically verified information to encourage them to get the jab.

Talking about the announcement, Anukool Kumar, Marketing Director at OkCupid, said, “With vaccination being the most important point of conversation today, we felt a responsibility to help daters who have gotten vaccinated or want to get the vaccine match with others who believe the same, as it is a matter of health and safety. We introduced the ‘I’m vaccinated’ badge and stack as an endeavour to help people make informed decisions, especially in their search for love.”

Tinder will launch its vaccine advocacy initiative in India to encourage the Gen Z population to get vaccinated. As a part of the initiative, Tinder will share educational guides, and grant members access to an all-new vaccine centre to display stickers and express their vaccination status and sentiments on their profile.

The initiative is expected to reach millions of Tinder members across India and connect them with resources. Tinder says its COVID-19 FAQs section is a custom-built guide that answers questions as simple as ‘What is a vaccine?’ and ‘Can I go out now?’ to more important questions such as ‘Can I get COVID after taking the vaccine?’ and more. Coming soon is the in-app centre with resources from WHO and, so members can easily access government-approved vaccine information and book an appointment at their nearest vaccination centre. App users can also display their vaccination status by adding interactive stickers including ‘Vaccinated,’ ‘Vaxing Soon,’ ‘Immunity Together,’ and ‘Vaccines Save Lives’ to their profile.

Tinder has also been working with local partners such as India Vaccine Project to create vaccine awareness and help them recruit youth volunteers from amongst the Tinder community. Also, Tinder’s parent Match Group has donated to ACT Grants supporting their multiple COVID relief initiatives.

“As India’s vaccination drive gains momentum, we want to extend support and encouragement for our members to be better equipped to find their way back into IRL dating when it becomes a possibility”, Taru Kapoor, General Manager at Tinder and Match Group India, said.

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