ZM hosts respond to conspiracy they've 'been told' to 'talk constantly' about COVID-19 vaccine

ZM's breakfast show hosts have responded to a conspiratorial complaint from a listener claiming the broadcasters have "been told" to "talk constantly" about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Fletch, Vaughan and Megan addressed the message on air, which began: "You guys are full of it." 

"All we hear now is COVID vaccine. You've been told to constantly talk about it," the unnamed listener said in a text read out by Vaughan. 

"We've not been told by anybody to talk about it," he responded. 

His co-host Megan chimed in: "Famously, this show, as soon as we get told to do something, we refuse to. If you know anything about us at all, that's completely untrue."  

Vaughan added that the radio hosts' motivation for discussing the vaccine was the hope of high vaccination rates helping New Zealanders get back to some kind of normalcy. 

"We just kind of want to do things again, and this is the best chance of it happening. I know harping on only makes people dig their heels in more, but what the hell else are we going to do?" he asked. 

"It's like seatbelts. If you don't wear a seatbelt - not every drive is going to be deadly but if you're in a crash [wearing a seatbelt] you're drastically reducing your chance of injury." 

Vaughan added: "Even if you're an anti-vaxxer or hesitant, I don't want to see you die. I don't want to see hospitals clogged up with people." 

"I don't want to hang out with you, don't get me wrong," he laughed. 

"I don't want to go to these massive festivals, I don't want to hang out with anybody, but I also don't want to see people unnecessarily die because I imagine there would be people that would miss you, and I don't want to see unnecessary grief." 

Megan agreed, adding: "And you shouldn't want to pass it on to babies, come on." 

A clip of the on-air moment garnered attention online, where some social media users praised the hosts for discussing the vaccine, while others echoed the sentiments of the angry listener. 

"Keep talking! Let's get safe and our community back to normal," one comment read. 

"Love your work, keep it up! Thank you for advocating on behalf of those without a platform who desperately want the safety of their loved ones and ourselves, and for life to get back to, what will no doubt be, a new normal," said another. 

But one commenter claimed they "couldn't listen to the radio anymore without having the vaccine shoved down their throat". 

"I'm not anti-vax by any stretch and I most likely will get it when I need to. But I'm sick of hearing about it and being told what to do, f**k that." 

Meanwhile, one fan suggested the breakfast show trio should make a vaccine-related version of the iconic McDonald's seatbelt safety song 'Make It Click', given Vaughan's analogy.