Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen’s daughters get COVID-19 vaccine


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been almost two weeks since kids between the ages of 5-11 could start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Monday, the family of Sanford Health’s CEO added to those numbers.

It’s the day 8-year-old Olivia Gassen and her younger sister, Sophia, have been waiting for….

“Yes,” Sophia said.

The two got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. OIivia says it’ll be life changing.

“Because I don’t have to wear my mask anymore,” Olivia said.

Jill Gassen, who is a physician assistant, says as a mother, it was a no brainer to get her children vaccinated.

“It’s a way to protect our children from COVID; it’s a way to protect our family. We have younger siblings. A four year old and a two year old that can’t yet get the vaccine, so us getting it will protect them,” Gassen said.

Some parents are still hesitant to get their children vaccinated and Jill says she understands that hesitancy.

“As a parent you are a little hesitant, because it’s your children. You want to protect them but if you do your reading and talk to your doctors and they’ve done their research and it’s been proven that it’s effective and it’s safe for these children,” Gassen said.

For getting their shots, both girls received a couple of small gifts from the clinic, a crowning moment for being brave and sending a message to others.

“Actually, it didn’t hurt, didn’t hurt,” Gassen said.

Olivia and Sophia will get their second dose on December 7.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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