LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Approximately 270 people got their vaccine at Park View Community Mission on Thursday, including Joyce Coles.

“I feel fine. No, no reaction yet. I’m praying that everything will be fine.”

She came with her aunt and says they followed news about the vaccine and trust that it’s safe and effective.

“If I do get it, I prayerfully won’t be as bad.”

Professors at Virginia Tech are working to clear up myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines, addressing concerns like safety and effectiveness.

Dr. Laura Hungerford, with Virginia Tech’s Public Health Program, says it’s important to clear up myths about the vaccines, like that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“All of them keep you from dying at 100% in the early studies,” said Hungerford, “and their effectiveness from keeping you from getting seriously sick are really high for all of them, too.”

She says Pfizer and Moderna were tested under different circumstances.

“The huge, very tightly controlled trials that were done were before the new variant was out there.”

According to Dr. Hungerford, the vaccines are safe.

However, the CDC tracks harmful health outcomes after vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS.

Out of nearly 2.5 million doses administered in Virginia, 26 people died. More than half were 80 or older, and 20 of them were men.

“When you think about how many have been vaccinated, 26 is a really small number,” said Dr. Hungerford, saying patterns of data from VAERS can help determine whether there is a connection, or if the death is unrelated. “Is it really just by chance?”

Several of the 26 reports specifically said the death did not appear vaccine-related, and many people had severe pre-existing conditions, like chronic congestive heart failure, end-stage kidney disease, or they were in hospice.

Meanwhile, Coles is relieved to have gotten her first dose and is looking ahead.

“The main thing I’m looking forward to is getting back into church. That’s my goal.”