Rich Galen

Better than waiting until you (a) feel like the devil, (b) determine it is not a cold, but probably the flu, (c) call your doctor for a prescription for Tamiflu, and (d) drag your sick tush out of the house to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled you should … get a flu shot and likely miss all that excitement.

The shot takes about two weeks to reach its maximum effectiveness, but before … but before … BUT BEFORE you say out loud, "Well, then, it's too late for me to get a flu shot," it is not.

The flu season has about three months to go, so if you go to your pharmacy, doctor, or clinic today and it takes two weeks to rev up, you will still have 2½ months of protection.

As we discussed the other day, flu shots are between 60 and 70 percent effective. However, if you don't get a flu shot you have exactly zero percent of protection.

The Federal Government is apparently right up to date on this situation. The Department of Health and Human Services (of which both FDA and CDC are subsets) has available for your singing and dancing pleasure a 360+ page "Pandemic Flu Plan."

It was last updated in 2005 when Mike Leavitt was Secretary.

This, like the $16 trillion national debt, global warming, and asteroids flying too close to the Earth, is probably George W. Bush's fault.

This year's flu has already reached epidemic levels across most of the nation, but there is no reason to believe it will escalate to pandemic proportions.

But, if you get the flu, your infection rate is 100 percent.

I'm done with this. You're on your own. Get a flu shot.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at