How to get baby formula as the first shipment from abroad arrives in the US

A shipment with enough special baby formula for more than half a million bottles arrived in Indiana on Sunday, the first of several deliveries seeking to ease shortages across the country.

In all, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three formulas that are hypoallergenic for children with allergies to cow’s milk protein are expected to arrive in the U.S.

The shipment that arrived Sunday carried 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula weighing 78,000 pounds, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One. .

The administration of President Joe Biden called the effort “Operation Formula Fly.” It seeks to combat a national shortage of baby formula caused by the closure of the country’s largest domestic manufacturing plant due to safety concerns earlier this year.

Airmen unload pallets from the cargo hold of a U.S. Air Force C-17 carrying 78,000 pounds of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula at the Indianapolis Airport on May 22, 2022 in Indianapolis. , Ind.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The administration prioritized the specialty formula because “it has a critical medical purpose and is in short supply in the United States,” Jean-Pierre said.

He added that the White House was working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure it “reaches those who need it most.”

The White House, USDA and HHS have been contacted for further comment.

The formula was unloaded and taken to a Nestlé distribution center. There, a standard quality check will be carried out before the supplies are shipped to hospitals, pharmacies and doctors’ offices, The Associated Press reported, citing an administration official at the scene.

The White House said another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula will fly from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Washington DC in the next few days, before being transported to a Nestlé facility in Pennsylvania.

“At Nestlé we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to ensure that parents and caregivers get the formula they need so their children can thrive,” Nestlé said in a statement on Sunday.

The company said it has worked “around the clock” for the past several months to address formula shortages and help meet demand.

“We have significantly increased the number of our formulas available to consumers by ramping up production and accelerating general product availability to retailers and online, as well as through hospitals and home health care for the most vulnerable,” he added.

Alfamino is primarily available through hospitals and home health care companies. Parents and caregivers can visit alfamino.com for information on Nestlé Health Science Alfamino products, while the Gerber Parent Resource Center is available 24/7 for parents with inquiries, including help finding formulas, at 1-800-4-GERBER or by chat on gerber. .com.

How to get baby formula

The HHS website advises parents and caregivers struggling to find formula to locate the nearest Community Action Agency, which can provide formula or recommend local agencies that have formula in stock. They can also call 211 and a specialist can help them find local food pantries or other charitable sources of infant formula.

Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are urged to contact their local office for assistance.

The formula shortage is due to the closure of Abbott Nutrition’s manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan, after four babies were hospitalized with a rare bacterial infection and two died.

The company’s recall of several products compounded supply chain disruptions, leaving store shelves bare and retailers rationing supply as parents scrambled to find enough formula to feed their children.

The formula from abroad will provide “some incremental relief in the coming days,” Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, told CNN. state of the union on Sunday.

Americans should see “more formula in stores starting this week” after various measures taken by the government, he added.

Abbott expects to reopen its Michigan facility next week after signing a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But formula products will take six to eight weeks to hit store shelves, Abbott CEO Robert Ford wrote in an op-ed for washington post over the weekend, outlining various steps the company is taking to address the shortage.

Last week, the FDA eased some restrictions to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to ship more baby formula to the US, while Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to boost formula production.

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