Not sure about getting the flu shot this year? Winnebago County Health Department numbers locally and nationwide may help your decision.

Every year I struggle with the decision to get a flu shot. Some of these numbers may push you off the fence as to other or not to get the flu vaccine. The Winnebago County Health Department reports that 7,300 residents tested positive for the flu during the last flu season, according to a recent story at rrstar.com. Here's another number from the same story that may heavily influence your decision. Nationwide, there were 80,000 deaths from the flu,180 of which were children.

The Health Department is strongly urging all residents to be vaccinated this year, to not only protect yourself but to protect family, friends, and co-workers around you. It's recommended that you get the flu shot before the end of October before holiday parties and events start taking place, given that the shot takes approximately two weeks to become effective.

In the last two years, the flu vaccine has been 39-40% effective, and while the Centers for Disease Control state that it's never 100% effective, it still provides a baseline of protection.