WASHINGTON (AP) – The government is setting aside $1 billion to pursue a vaccine against the new swine flu.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that’s how much will be needed to conduct studies this summer of whether pilot vaccine doses work – and to place orders with flu manufacturers for commercial-scale production should authorities decide that’s necessary.

Sebelius cautioned that that decision hasn’t yet been made, and there are scientific hurdles – including whether the so-called seed stock of the virus that manufacturers need to brew vaccine actually will work. The government still hopes to deliver the first of that seed stock sometime next week, so that manufacturers can begin the monthslong production process.

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