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Covid-19 vaccine status is becoming more important than endless selfies on dating apps

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On dating apps, declaring that you’ve had your Covid-19 vaccination is becoming as important as killer selfies when it comes to getting more matches.

Since the US began its vaccination program in December, many dating apps and sites have reported spikes in usage of Covid-related words such as “vaccine” and “antibodies”. Some have reacted by introducing functions letting you declare your vaccine status or filter potential matches based on whether they have been jabbed or not.

Tinder’s The Future Of Dating Is Fluid report was released in March. It suggested that for many singles, when it came to dating the most desirable fluids entering bodies were administered by needles.

The report showed that an uptick in mentions of the word “vaccine” in user biographies began around December. By January use of the word was up eightfold. Use of the word “antibodies” in biographies increased by 20 times.

OKCupid reported a similar trend. The dating app and site saw a 137 percent increase in mentions of the word “vaccine” in profiles between November and January. Tinder rival app Bumble said it saw a “steady increase” in use of the words “vaccine” and “vaccinated” on profiles since December.

Some dating apps have been quick to integrate vaccination declaration flexes into their functionality. San Francisco-based Coffee Meets Bagel rolled out a feature allowing users to declare their Covid-19 vaccination status and views. Users can clarify if they’re fully vaccinated, have had one of their two doses, will get vaccinated, won’t get vaccinated, or don’t want to say.

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Elate Date, a dating app promising “less ghosting” and “fewer dickheads”, added vaccination status as a match criteria.

A spokesperson for Coffee Meets Bagel said that 78 percent of users indicated that “it’s a deal breaker if their date doesn’t take Covid seriously… 43 percent of them have mentioned that if they come across a profile that says they’ve been vaccinated they’re more likely to actually like that profile.”

The rise of dating app vaccine declarations has raised issues about profile honesty that are arguably more serious than heavy photo filter use. No dating apps or sites have announced verification processes for vaccination status declarations, simply trusting users to not be deceptive about them.

Issues of equality have also been raised. Dating profiles of singles based in areas where vaccine rollouts are slow are likely to be less desirable than those of people based in faster rollout areas.

In the US, at least, this should become less of an issue relatively quickly. On April 21, President Joe Biden announced that 200 million Covid-19 vaccinations had been administered in the country, with over half the population at least partly vaccinated.

Read next: This (anti-)dating app is designed to make Tinder seem boring

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