Some Norwegian survivors of polio are critical of parents who don’t vaccinate their children against polio and other diseases, saying they are naiive and put other people at risk.
While those who oppose vaccinations say they fear the possible side effects to childern, that fear has no basis in fact, according to a Danish study. The researchers compared health data from all Danes born between 1980 and 2009 and found that vaccinations resulted in no greater incidences of illnesses than normal.
A 70-year-old Norwegian woman who contracted polio at age 7 and nearly died, said she continues to struggle with the side effects of the disease, including recurring pain. Another polio survivor from Norway has required numerous surgeries on a foot deformed by polio, four sizes smaller than the other.
The polio vaccine was introduced in Norway during the 1956-1957 school year, and halted the spread of the disease. In 2013, 94 percent of 2-year-olds in Norway received the recommended three doses of DPT vaccine, which includes the polio vaccine. Only five cases of polio have been reported in the country since 1975, likely the result of infections from outside the country.