Health experts are monitoring whether new variants of coronavirus in Scotland could be having an increased impact on children, after 10 youngsters were hospitalised.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the number of children currently in hospital with coronavirus was “on the high side”.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf said on Wednesday that 10 children aged nine and under were hospitalised with coronavirus in Scotland last week.
Asked about the increasing numbers compared to earlier in the pandemic, Mr Swinney said the government was looking to identify if the new variants of Covid-19 were affecting children differently.
He told BBC Good Morning Scotland that the number of children currently in hospital was “on the high side”.
Asked about the current figures, Mr Swinney said: “The current numbers are on the high side, certainly over the period of Covid we’ve not seen very many children hospitalised but we’re seeing a number just now.
“We have to look at all of these factors to determine is there something in the new variants that are emerging that is making it more acutely challenging for children with a greater health impact, and these are the issues that we keep under constant review and upon which we take clinical advice.”
He explained the demographic of people being hospitalised had changed because of the vaccine to Scots outwith with the over 50s age group.
“Frankly, because the overwhelming majority of that group are vaccinated and have some protection,” he said, adding that were still some people being hospitalised after having the vaccine.
A slight increase in the number of people being treated in hospital for the virus has been recorded since restrictions started to ease in April.
As of June 2 there were 114 people receiving treatment for coronavirus in Scottish hospitals, compared with 68 on May 2.
Data on the number of children and young people in hospital at a local level is not made available by NHS Tayside or the Scottish Government.
It comes after we revealed the areas of Dundee with the highest rates of the virus.
The city has been kept under Level 2 restrictions as other parts of the country move to Level 1 due to higher test positivity rates.