CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A new strategy to help fight COVID.

The FDA is now recommending that COVID boosters become a yearly shot, like the flu vaccine. They announced their recommendations on Monday and will vote on them on Thursday.

There’s an obvious “before” and after at Star Med in Charlotte.

In 2022, the parking lot was full of people waiting to get a COVID test. Now, in January of 2023, the parking lot is empty.

“We’ve seen the waves. We’ve seen it go from really high to then lulls,” remembered Natalie Gonzalez, a PA-C at Star Med.

Gonzalez said the new FDA recommendations are paving the way for the future covid fight. If they are approved, it could help make boosters and vaccines less complicated for regular people.

“Once you complete that full series, the booster helps remind your body to make those antibodies against the virus, and antibodies against the Omicron strain specifically,” said Gonzalez.

The idea from the FDA is to make the COVID boosters like the flu vaccine. They would study the virus each year, and vaccine companies would create vaccines tailored to the most substantial variant at the time.

Gonzalez says this could help more people get the vaccine and protect them from long-term complications.

“We’re still seeing a lot of patients that are positive and are having some of the long COVID symptoms and complications from getting infected,” Gonzalez said.