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Spherocytosis
October 2001

Q. My two-month-old daughter has spherocytosis. Is there any special danger for her in receiving vaccinations (since her immune system is already compromised by this disorder)? Also, is there any solid evidence to lend credence to the persistent rumor that certain vaccinations may cause autism?

A. Spherocytosis is most commonly an inherited disorder in which the red blood cells have an abnormal shape. The disorder can be mild, or problems such as hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) can occur.

Your child will still receive standard recommended care that your pediatrician provides to other children, including immunizations. The cause of autism is unknown.

The following websites will give you more information on these topics.

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/peds/pidl/hemeonc/spherocy.htm

http://www.childnetma.org/KB/spherocytosis.html

http://www.aap.org/new/immpublic.htm

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