The U.K. Department of Health has announced plans to provide whooping cough vaccinations for pregnant women in order to better protect new-borns.
The scheme will help to bolster the short-term immunity passed on by mothers to their new-born offspring, who typically cannot receive immunization until they are two months old.
The program comes in response to a rise in whooping cough cases and deaths amongst young infants, with U.K. Health Protection Agency figures showing that 302 cases have been observed among those aged below 12 weeks during the first eight months of 2012.
This is more than double the 115 cases reported during the same period of 2011, while among all ages, the number of cases stands at 4,791, over four times more than the whole of last year.
For further details, see the NHS website.