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Pregnant women are to be vaccinated against whooping cough, after the biggest outbreak of the illness for 20 years, claimed the lives of nine babies.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency show a dramatic rise in the number of whooping cough cases in the Midlands.
In 2008, the East Midlands had 48 cases, but since then its risen to 576. In the West Midlands there were 56 cases in 2008, rising to 318. Nationally the current number of whooping cough cases is 4,791.
Health officials say the vaccine will protect new borns from the highly contagious infection. We should warn you Keith Wilkinson's report starts with images of a child with whooping cough.
Pregnant women across the Midlands will be offered whooping cough vaccinations from next week, following a rise in cases and deaths among young children.
There have been around 300 cases in the West Midlands so far this year, up from just 30 in 2011, and nearly 600 in the East Midlands, ten times more cases than the previous year.
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An emergency vaccination programme is being launched as figures show a staggering rise in the number of infants contracting whooping cough.