Gov. Janet Napolitano is spending $100,000 to help convince people to get vaccinated against pneumonia.
The move is designed to supplement programs aimed at preventing the flu. But gubernatorial press aide Jeanine L’Ecuyer said these pneumonia inoculations could prove more effective in preventing death — not only from the latest strain of flu but even the threat of avian flu.
"People have been frightened, duly or unduly, by the threat of avian flu,’’ L’Ecuyer said Wednesday, even though there are only a handful of cases where the disease has been transmitted to humans. "It’s important that people know how to protect themselves.’’
L’Ecuyer said most people who die from the flu don’t actually succumb to that disease. Instead, she said, it is usually from secondary infections, especially pneumonia.
The $100,000 will come from $1 million the Legislature puts each year into a special fund for health issues.