I NOTICED, from the photo, that the protesters outside Hartlepool Hospital (Echo, Oct 7), stating their objections to the approaching coronavirus vaccination, were, perhaps, too young to remember the devastating effects of illnesses in pre-vaccination days.

In 1931, my mother, then 11 years old, never forgot the heartbreak of losing her five-year-old brother to diphtheria.

I am 72-years-old and my age group were the first children in this country to receive the polio vaccine. At the time our parents were willing to take the possible risks to save us from the serious effects of poliomyelitis – death or paralysis. Pictures of wards full of patients in iron lung machines are still available online should anyone not believe the effects of this terrible disease. Thanks to world-wide vaccination, polio has been eradicated.

In these days of a world-wide pandemic, with all its consequences – death, ill-health, economic disaster and lastly, but importantly, lack of social interaction – we owe it to our fellow citizens to take risks to conquer coronavirus, and hope that we can all return to a normal way of life, in good health. We can only do this with vaccination.

Gillian Banks, Durham.