I am concerned about the number of elderly people who are ill after having a flu jab. I first became aware of this with my uncle, who was in his 80s at the time. It took him six weeks to recover from a jab. Then my mother-also in her 80s-was ill for about the same length of time and swears she is still left with a slight cough. She and my uncle said they would never have the vaccine again. A friend's father in his early 70s had a similar experience.

Both my cousins-who are in their mid-60s and are usually in good health (so I don't know why they had the treatment, anyway)---were ill after the jab.

The mother of a friend's work colleague was in bed for three weeks after a jab.

Probably most telling is the number of elderly people at my mother's day centre in Leeds who have been ill each time they have their annual jab (sadly, some follow doctor's advice even when it goes against common sense). Almost without exception, they comment on the severity of their illness, saying it is the worst flu ever, in long lives.

I wrote three letters to the Department of Health before receiving a routine reply. I have also written to my GP (a very good doctor and fairly open minded), but have had no reply yet.

It is bad enough being ill, but to feel it has been caused in this way is particularly distressing. The instances I have quoted are in London, Leeds and York and over several years so it isn't a matter of one rogue batch of vaccine.

One flu leaflet I have states it isn't possible for anyone to be made ill by the vaccine, as the vaccine used is dead. Sadly, the medical profession are very slow to make these kinds of links-and they certainly don't like the public telling them anything.

Doctors are regularly proved wrong when they have previously claimed there are no side effects associated with particular treatments-and this is probably the case with vaccines.-HC London. (WDDTY May 1997)