We all know that COVID-19 vaccines (like all vaccines) are not 100% effective in preventing infection. And we’re still learning just how long protection can be expected to last. As such, patients with symptoms that could be attributed to SARS-CoV-2 should be tested for the virus regardless of their vaccination status. An urgent care operation in Michigan learned this the hard way after they declined to test a 74-year-old woman who presented with sinus congestion, ear pain, and a headache because she was fully vaccinated. After a week of worsening symptoms, she had to be taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with COVID-19. She wound up on a ventilator and died just 2 weeks after she had presented to the urgent care center. While there’s no way of knowing what the course of her illness would have been if she had been tested and diagnosed when she first presented, it’s clear that failing to do so was of no help and leaves the urgent care operator open to criticism and poor public perception of the care they provide.

Don’t Find Out the Hard Way—Vaccination Status Should Not Influence Testing for COVID-19