EXPERTS are looking into whether new Covid variants are having more impact on children after 10 youngsters aged nine and under were admitted to hospital last week.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said while not many children have been admitted to hospital during the pandemic, the number in hospital at the moment is “on the high side”.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said yesterday that 10 children aged zero to nine were admitted to hospital last week “because of Covid”.

Speaking to the BBC's Good Morning Scotland, Swinney, who is also Covid Recovery Secretary, said experts will be trying to determine whether there is something in the new variants that is making it more acutely challenging for children with a greater impact on their health.

He said: “If you go back over the last 12 months, relatively few children have been hospitalised as a consequence of Covid so we’re now seeing obviously a concentration of hospitalisation outwith the over-50s group because the overwhelming majority of that group are vaccinated and have some protection.

“There are still some people being hospitalised with the vaccine.”

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Asked whether more children are being admitted to hospital, he 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, so 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.”

During the interview, Swinney also said he is confident they will vaccinate all over-50s in Scotland with both doses by the end of next month.