COVID-19: Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie ignores Government's call to get vaccinated

The Mayor of Thames-Coromandel is ignoring the Government's call to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Sandra Goudie says she is waiting for an alternative to the current Pfizer vaccine before getting the jab.

While she is not saying "no" to vaccinations, she believes the Novavax jab is more appropriate for her - despite it still awaiting Medsafe approval. 

Earlier this year, Goudie came under fire for not scanning QR codes - and later admitted she had become complacent.

Goudie's latest comments about the vaccine have sparked backlash, including from prominent broadcaster Hillary Barry.

"The people of Thames-Coromandel deserve so much better," Barry wrote on Facebook.

"Follow the science, follow the proper data and help protect your community and your whānau."

Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles told Stuff Goudie's comments were "massively irresponsible" and were "putting others in danger". 

Newshub on Thursday asked Goudie if she felt she was letting other New Zealanders down by waiting for the Novavax jab.

"That's some people's point of view," she said.

"Like everybody else, we all have a choice so I choose to exercise my choice and I'm sticking with that, and I'm not going to get into a discussion or a debate around my choice.

"You always base your choices on the knowledge you have - I do my own research if you like and I'm sure other people do too, and so from there you make choices."

Goudie was asked if she thought it was risky not to get vaccinated.

"I've said that, in terms of my own vulnerabilities, that it's a calculated risk," she said.

Newshub also asked Goudie if she was putting her own community at risk by not getting vaccinated.

"How would I be doing that?"

Officials continue to urge all eligible New Zealanders to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and put an end to restrictive lockdowns - Auckland, the epicentre of the current outbreak, has been in some form of lockdown since August 18.

"High vaccination rates are really apparent and it will become more apparent," Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said this week. "That's really what's going to help us with making that shift through those stages, and then, as we all want to do, down alert levels in Auckland." 

The Novavax protein-based vaccine uses technology that has been around since the mid-1980s, in jabs including whooping cough and hepatitis B, according to The Atlantic.

A US-based trial earlier this year revealed it was 90 percent effective, including against several variants. 

However, it's not due to arrive in New Zealand until at least the first quarter of next year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said last month. 

The vaccine from New Zealand's single supplier Pfizer uses a technology called mRNA. Stage three clinical trials showed it had 95 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19. 

Pfizer's vaccine is approved by New Zealand's medicines regulator Medsafe and anyone aged 12 and over is eligible to receive it.