Media release
When children don't count: 
Heeding the lesson of little Saba Button 

22/03/2011 - For Immediate Release: 

Saba Button's family is grieving for their baby's lost future, and their brave appearance on Channel 9 News in Perth last night should ring warning bells for all Australian parents who are considering giving their children this year's influenza vaccine as recommended by the Australian Health Department.

A year ago, Saba was a normal, healthy 11 month old whose parents were 'doing the right thing' in vaccinating her. Kirsten and Mick Button, along with thousands of other Western Australian parents, were sent a letter by the WA Government urging them to get their child vaccinated against the flu. This letter did not inform parents that the vaccine had never been used in this age group in Australia before - nor did it tell them that by agreeing to give their child the shot, they were taking part in an experiment with no controls, no real oversight and funding from the companies that were producing and profiting from the vaccines.

Hours after getting this shot, Saba ran a high fever, was whimpering in her cot and began seizures that could not be controlled for over 7 hours. The upshot is that today, Saba has significant brain damage and her loving family is shattered.

Some people may say that Saba has paid the price to keep society safe from influenza, but as Peter Collignon, Professor of infectious diseases and microbiology had ANU has stated:

"In the vast majority of people, (seasonal flu) gives a mild infection, or is even asymptomatic - which protects against other (flu) viruses much more broadly. To me, this is a red flag for saying we need to reassess the whole vaccine strategy, of vaccinating people without risk factors."


In fact, Prof Collignon has revealed that instead of protecting people against the flu, vaccination may make it more likely that people who get vaccinated this year may be more prone to the flu next year. Whilst a dose of the flu - rarely deadly in healthy people - will usually give long-term, broad-spectrum protection against future outbreaks, vaccination appears to leave people more susceptible to the flu in future years.


The results of last year's flu vaccination campaign in children in Australia were that approximately 1 child in ever 100-200 who got the shot had seizures as a result. And a recent study from the US showed that receiving the flu vaccine in combination with other shots increases that risk by 60 seizures in ever 100,000 children.


Dr Thomas Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration has done a 40-year retrospective study showing that in children under the age of 2 years, the flu vaccine is completely ineffective. Despite this, our government is considering recommending this shot in that age group.


Prof Robert Booy of the NCIRS and Westmead Hospital has called Prof Collignon 'wrong and irresponsible' for trying to ensure that Australia's vaccination policy is based on science rather than fear. Perhaps Prof Booy would like to explain the recent research showing that less than 30% of Australian health professionals have agreed to take annual flu shots. Their stated reasons for doing so? Lack of evidence of necessity, safety or effectiveness. If doctors won't get vaccinated, why should parents, Professor Booy?


Incredibly, despite the fact that the majority of doctors have no faith in this shot, they were not reporting the serious reactions appearing in their practices until they had 'enough reactions to make it worth their while'. This was the conclusion of the Stokes investigation commissioned by the WA Government. Due to delay in reporting reactions, many children, including Saba Button, were injured unnecessarily. This vaccine should have been withdrawn weeks earlier. Indeed, it can be argued that it never should have been introduced. 


It is criminally negligent that an experimental vaccine was being used on infants and young children without full and independent oversight. Where did the system fail? Ultimately, it is in the assumption that all vaccines are safe until proven otherwise - when in fact, it should be the other way around. 


Every child matters. Every child should count.


The Australian Vaccination Network represents the viewpoint that all health policies must be open, transparent and scientifically-based. In addition, parents must always have access to the most current independent information on the benefits and risks of all health procedures - something which the government is not able to provide them with since the TGA have abrogated their responsibility by allowing drug companies to be the sole arbiters of safety and efficacy of all drugs and vaccines licensed in Australia.


In the meantime, we wish Saba's family all the best and hope for the miracle that will see this precious girl healed of the harm done to her by vaccines that were supposed to protect and not harm.


For comment, please contact Meryl Dorey on:


Phone - 02 6687 1699

Mobile - 0414 872 032

email -


About Australian Vaccination Network, Inc.
The AVN is a non-profit, volunteer-run charitable association. Since 1994, the AVN has provided information and support to the general community who are trying to make informed choices about vaccination and health. Their lobbying in Federal Parliament has ensured that compulsory vaccination for children has not come to pass and they are the major reporters of vaccine adverse reactions to ADRAC (The Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee).
For more information visit
Ph: 02 6687 1699  Fax: 02 6687 2032  Mobile: 0414 872 032
Join Our Mailing List