Coronavirus: Mike King blasts 'feral self-righteous zealots' on both sides of vaccine debate

Coronavirus: Mike King blasts 'feral self-righteous zealots' on both sides of vaccine debate
Photo credit: The AM Show, Facebook

Mental health advocate Mike King has blasted people on both sides of the COVID-19 vaccine debate as "feral self-righteous zealots", saying they need to take a "chill pill".

King posted on Facebook on Sunday saying he intended to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I live in Papatoetoe and if it is made available, my family and I will happily be vaccinated," he said.

The post sparked heated debate from people arguing about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, despite expert's and the Government's assurance it is safe for the vast majority of people. 

"You've just opened a huge can of worms," one person commented.

In an update on Monday, King said he had made the post due to the uncertainty of the vaccine within south Auckland.

"I did this because I knew a lot of people in my community are unsure about the vaccine and I figured that my coming forward might help," he said.

"I also did it because I was curious as to how people would react.

"What I discovered? There are a lot of feral self-righteous zealots on BOTH sides who are happy to shit on anyone who disagrees with their hard done 'research' and 'facts'".

King has since deleted the post - which he did after "I found myself reassessing the sanity of people I once thought were kind caring fair-minded Kiwis".

"Hopefully they’ll be handing out Chill Pills along with the vaccine. I'm gonna need one."

King told Newshub the post is "not an antivaxxer post, it's an anti-zealot post".

"We live in a democracy and everyone's entitled to their own opinion and we should be respectful to each other's views," he said.

This comes after Manukau ward councillor Fa'anana Efeso Collins revealed on Sunday that he had received a number of hateful messages after publicly supporting the vaccine.

"People saying the church should excommunicate me & calling me to repent for supporting a vaccine roll out in (south) Auckland," he tweeted. "These are tough discussions to navigate so open & honest conversations are needed."