PEOPLE over 65 in Huddersfield are to be offered a new jab to fight off infections including pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.
Use of the vaccine against the pneumococcal infection - already available to residents aged over 75 - is being expanded after it emerged pensioners were most at risk.
The announcement by the Government's Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, came after it was revealed that two in every 1,000 adults over 65 are admitted to hospital each year.
Sir Liam said: "Everybody is at risk, but the older you are the greater the risk of contracting this sort of illness.
"We already successfully vaccinate at-risk groups, such as those with heart conditions, chronic lung disease and chronic liver disease.
"We now need to make sure that older people are also protected. That's why we are offering the jab to everybody aged 65 and over."
A vaccine programme against the infection was introduced for people over 80 in 2003.
Last year it was extended to include people over 75.
Patients can be vaccinated at any time during the year and most will only need the injection once.
A spokesman for Huddersfield Central and South Huddersfield primary care trusts said GPs would be contacting patients in the coming months.
He added: "We are aware of the new guidance and are awaiting further information as to how we will implement this locally.
"This is a reminder of a minor change to an existing programme, already known to local GPs, who will be contacting their patients as necessary.
"A number of practices are already well on the way towards completion," the spokesman said.