Episode 73. Quality Questions, Qualified Qualls

Life is full of decisions. Some are easy. Some are hard. Many decisions have had to be made during the pandemic and whether or not to take the vaccine is a decision many are working to now figure out. Dr. Justin Qualls joins us to answer questions about the vaccine and to encourage us that our focus is not on masks and vaccines but making much of Christ.


Guest Spot Highlight | Dr. Justin Qualls, MBMC Hospitalist

  • Family doing well. Wonderful holiday season. Excited about the new year. 
  • Early on uncertainty about Covid. In beginning, people got sick quickly and ended up in ICU. Gotten better at figuring out what helps and what doesn’t help. 
  • Received first dose of the Covid vaccine. No side effects other than arm tenderness. Scheduled to get the second one soon. Doctors are ready to move on. Biggest chance we have is the vaccine and move on with life. 
  • Tim: Any rumors about the vaccine you want to address?
  • Justin: As Christians we want to investigate things, and there are many Christ followers who have been doing research and working with coronavirus. Get a lot of questions such as: 
  • Can it change your DNA? MRNA vaccine. Not brand new technology. Doesn’t enter cell nucleus. 
  • Will vaccine give you Covid? Vaccine will not give you Covid. Contains no live virus. Coronavirus doesn’t even contain dead pieces of coronavirus. No way to catch. May have Covid the day you go in and haven’t had symptoms, so could get vaccine and find out you have Covid, but you didn’t get it from the vaccine. 
  • Are there aborted baby parts in the vaccine? Concern with some vaccines, but particularly with Moderna and Pfizer, I’ve looked directly at their studies and neither contains anything remotely close to fetal parts. No babies were aborted to make these vaccines. 
  • Tim: Did they use aborted babies in any way when producing? 
  • Justin: Two main cell lines used in scientific and medical community. Good article on the Gospel Coalition site and Al Mohler’s “The Briefing.” Over thirty to forty years, cells from an aborted baby or already deceased baby have been used in cell lines – tissues donated. Cells replicated and used in research. Some parts of medical research have used these cell lines. These cell lines are not in the Covid vaccine. There may have been some testing done with those cell lines, but every technology we have has had some exposure to those cell lines. Are we morally complicit to take a vaccine that has some distant exposure to this cell line? Don’t feel we are. No baby was aborted to make this vaccine. No part of the initial part of that abortion remains. Cell line multiplied over years. 
  • Tim: Thank you so much for talking openly about this. Know it’s a disturbing topic. 
  • Tim: Why does medical field have to use those cell lines?
  • Justin: Needed the cells to be able to develop in a certain way and that could only happen because they were so early. No reservations about taking this vaccine. No fetal parts being put in your arm.
  • Tim: Thankful for good information as people try to make decisions. 
  • Justin: Because of social media, people are more aware of everything. There are a lot of things about medical technology that we could discuss that might give people pause. Should wrestle with some of these technologies, but don’t want people to go with conspiracy theories and Facebook friends. Trust your doctor. Ask their opinion if you have a Christian doctor. 
  • Tim: One last question. Vaccines approved so far are not for children right?
  • Justin: On back burner. Question is more when will we have a vaccine for you. Probably summer before administered to general public. Time to watch those of us who’ve gotten it. Illness can be severe in children. Not common so vaccinate as many people over sixteen as possible. 
  • Tim: In your opinion, is it possible for us to get back to some sort of normal lifestyle before there is a vaccine for children?
  • Justin: Don’t see us making a quick exit from this without a vaccine. Problem we have to work together at. Vaccine is one part of that. Controversy over mask. As a physician, I wear a mask in public, or if I can’t stay away from people. 
  • Tim: Do masks do anything?
  • Justin: Keeps my spit in my mouth. Little flecks of droplets. Not living in fear. Breath in faces of patients everyday. Don’t want to infect others unknowingly. Wear a mask to be sensitive. Hot topic. Looked at studies. Wear masks when we do surgery. Wear at all times in hospital. Not just that much of an inconvenience. If it may do some good, I’ll do it. Going forward? Go on with your life in a safe way. Got vaccine to get back to normal. 
  • Tim: Didn’t like your answer on the timeline question, so can you give me a different answer on that. (Insert laughter)

Devotional | Justin Qualls

  • 1 Peter 2: 9 – 12
  • We are a people for God’s own possession. Called into the family of God to proclaim His excellencies. 
  • Pulled out of terminal darkness into His everlasting light. God’s grace to be His people. 
  • Called to be holy. Strive to be holy so that unbelievers will see, and God will be glorified. 
  • Unique opportunity that our focus is on Jesus, and what He has done. 
  • Show love and concern for people. Want to tell people about His excellencies. Focus is not on what others are or are not doing.
  • He is the Center of who we are as a church. Bring it back to Jesus so as not to cause division.

Prayer Requests 

  • Leroy Puckett, in the hospital. 
  • Lisa Goolsby, in the loss of her mother Retha Ferguson.
  • Hardy Pittman, in the loss of his father.
  • Family of Rachel Hughes in her passing. 

Closing Remarks

  • Thank you, Dr. Qualls! Your first episode was our most viewed. 
  • Thank you for joining us on the podcast. 
  • We love our family!

Host & Guest

Tim Peabody

Justin Qualls, MD
UMMC Hospitalist


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