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As more formula arrives in the US, UT expert says it could be months before shelves are fully stocked

A professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School said we should see some improvement within the next week or two, but the shelves won't be fully stocked for months.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Sunday, a military plane carrying tens of thousands of pounds of baby formula from overseas landed in Indiana in a move approved by President Joe Biden.

The shipment included Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior as well as Gerber Good Start Extensive HA, all of which are hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow's milk protein allergies.

This was the first batch of imported baby formula under “Operation Fly Formula” in an effort to help with the nationwide baby formula shortage. 

"I've directed my team to do everything possible to ensure that there's enough safe baby formula and that it's quickly reaching families that need it the most," said President Biden. 

KVUE spoke to Steve Abrams, a professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas. Abrams said we should see some improvement with the shortage in the next week or two. However, it will take some time to go back to normal levels. 

"I think the ... normal stocks for families to buy whatever they want may be multiple months away," said Abrams. "I don't think we're going to see shelves filled for multiple months because even as the factory that closed down went back online, it's going to be producing specialty formulas first."

Abrams suggested what needs to change so this doesn't happen again. 

"The biggest thing is we were way too dependent on not enough distributors of formula," he added. "When one major distributor had a crisis, especially a specialty formula, there was no backup. So we need to fix that. The companies that hold things like the WIC contracts need to be held responsible for having backups."

He also encouraged expanding WIC flexibility so parents have more options for what formula they can buy. 

For parents with babies over six months, Abrams said they can temporarily drink cow milk for a few days if they've run out of options.


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