Washington (AP) – With new incentives on major dating platforms and with lottery winnings in several states, the US is trying to get unvaccinated citizens an injection against Corona.
The White House announced in Washington on Friday that nine major dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid wanted to introduce incentives for vaccinated people to support the government’s vaccination goals. Users must be able to indicate in their profile whether they have received a vaccination or to search specifically for vaccinated dating partners. Tinder also wants to provide information about nearby vaccination centers. Several states are giving away cash prizes to vaccinated people.
Overall, the US has been vaccinating at a rapid pace in recent months. Almost half of the total population (more than 48 percent) has now received at least one injection and more than 38 percent has been fully vaccinated. The numbers are significantly higher among seniors.
Given widespread vaccine skepticism, the pace of the campaign has slowed recently. The government is now looking at young people, including many who have not been vaccinated. Andy Slavitt, senior White House corona advisor, said it’s important to pick up younger people where they are – when dating, for example. Many young people are not necessarily against vaccination. They just haven’t made it a priority until now.
The White House said that according to a survey by the dating platform OkCupid, users who have already been vaccinated or who plan to receive 14 percent more positive dating feedback (“matches”). Slavitt said, “We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive: a vaccination.”
To convince doubters or doubters, several states are now also luring with lottery prizes for vaccinated people. After Ohio, Maryland and New York also announced such incentives on Thursday (local time). The east coast state of Maryland started a lottery for a total of two million dollars (about 1.6 million euros). Of this cash pool, $ 40,000 is raffled daily for 40 days – among all adult residents of the state who have received at least one vaccination. A one-time raffle worth $ 400,000 will be held at the end of the event.
In New York, on the other hand, adult citizens are supposed to get free tickets with a vaccination, with the prospect of winnings of between $ 20 and $ 5 million. In mid-May, Ohio had already launched a raffle: for five weeks, a million dollars (about 820,000 euros) is raffled there every week among citizens who have at least received their first vaccination.
US President Joe Biden has set a goal that by Independence Day on July 4, about 70 percent of all approximately 260 million adults in the country would have received at least the first vaccination. So far it is about 60 percent.
Slavitt said that in order to convince as many unvaccinated people as possible to use a syringe, the procedure would be made as easy as possible. Vaccinations without an appointment are now available in many places. Taxi competitors Uber and Lyft offer free rides to vaccination appointments. Employers give their employees some paid time off for a vaccination appointment. And several companies also offer small incentives for those vaccinated: free drinks or snacks, vouchers, free entry to museums, and the like.