The Barbados Olympic Association held an online seminar in which Dr Adrian Lorde urged participants to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ©BOA

The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) director and family physician Dr Adrian Lorde led an online seminar for the organisation answering queries on COVID-19 vaccines and encouraging participants to receive their jabs.

This followed Lorde's address at a religious service at the Christ the King Anglican Church in Rock Dundo last month, reported by Barbados Today, in which he told listeners that vaccines are safe and highly recommended.

Lorde is also President of the Barbados Sports Medicine Association and chairman of the Barbados National Anti-Doping Commission.

The BOA seminar lasted an hour and saw Lorde outline the impact of COVID-19 both from a health and sport perspective.

This included the mandatory vaccine requirements introduced by organisers of the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games in Colombia from November 25 to December 5.

He then explained how vaccines against the virus had been developed and their purpose in training the immune system to create antibodies.

Addressing potential "reactions to vaccines," Lorde said most if any would disappear within 24 to 48 hours, and cited statistics up to September 28 in Barbados that three serious adverse reactions had been reported from 237,968 doses - a rate of 0.0015 per cent.

This has now risen to almost 260,000 doses.

Lorde went into further detail on the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines, approved by the World Health Organisation and available in the Caribbean country, before his presentation revealed that unvaccinated persons account for "all deaths in Barbados so far," and "more than 10 times as many serious cases as those who are vaccinated."

The BOA director urged those present at the seminar to get inoculated "for your family, your work colleagues and your community" and "to get back to normal and let us have some sporting activity."

He said individuals needed to "balance the unpredictable risk of COVID-19 and the variants versus the very small risk of taking the vaccine."

The seminar concluded with a question-and-answer session.

Barbados has faced a recent rise in COVID-19 infections, with 11,785 confirmed cases and 103 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The country won its first gold medal at the Pan American Games in the Peruvian capital Lima in 2019 through Shane Brathwaite in the men's 110-metre hurdles.

At the Olympic Games, Obadele Thompson earned its only medal to date with a bronze in the men's 100m at Athens 2000, while eight athletes represented Barbados at Tokyo 2020.