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UPDATE 1-Singapore to decide on COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 this month

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SINGAPORE, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Singapore is expecting its expert committee on COVID-19 vaccines to make a recommendation on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot for children aged 5 to 11 years old later this month, the country's Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday.

The city-state is considering a plan to give children one-third of the adult dosage, similar to the United States, Ong added.

About 8,000 of Singapore's cumulative 218,333 COVID-19 cases have involved children below the age of 12, with five severe infections, according to the health ministry.

Singapore, where 85% of the 5.45 million population has been fully vaccinated, has been pushing to get as many inoculated as possible and live with the virus.

On Monday, the country said those who remained unvaccinated by choice would have to foot their medical bills from next month.

The government also announced a further easing of rules for dining out, allowing up to five vaccinated individuals from the same household to eat together at restaurants. Current rules only allow up to two vaccinated persons to eat out together.

Authorities will also allow soft recorded music to be played in restaurants after having banned it for months, citing higher chances of virus transmission if people spoke loudly over the music.

Singapore will also allow quarantine-free travel for vaccinated people from its closest neighbour Malaysia https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/singapore-malaysia-allow-quarantine-free-travel-between-both-countries-2021-11-08, Sweden and Finland from late this month.

The country has been reporting more than 3,000 daily infections in recent weeks, most are asymptomatic or mild. (Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)