INDIANAPOLIS – The first shipment of baby formula is expected to arrive in central Indiana within days in hopes of easing a supply bottleneck here in the U.S.
The White House said Nestle-manufactured formula brought from Switzerland as part of Operation Fly Formula will come to Plainfield.
Families have been worried for weeks about a baby formula shortage that has left shelves empty and prompted families to pool resources in order to find it.
The shipment set to arrive in Plainfield sometime this weekend includes the equivalent of 1.5 million 8 oz. bottles of three different kinds of hypo-allergenic formula for children with cow’s milk protein allergy.
“These formulas have been prioritized because they serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply in the United States because of the Abbott Sturgis plant closure,” according to a release from the White House.
Roughly 246 pallets are expected to arrive in Indiana. Once here, it will be shipped for distribution to formula companies to help areas of the country with significant shortages.
President Joe Biden launched Operation Fly Formula in order to get more formula into stores as the supply tightens nationwide. The FDA has also allowed a key Abbott facility to reopen, which should eventually help the supply issue.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told a congressional panel Thursday that the baby formula shortages should begin to ease within days. Califf cautioned that things won’t return to normal for a few more weeks.
Once the Abbott plant resumes production, it will take between six and eight weeks for formula to reach store shelves. The plant has been shut since February, after four infants were hospitalized with a rare bacterial condition.
With the baby formula supply constrained, the House passed $28 million in emergency funding and the White House invoked the Defense Production Act as part of an effort to boost supplies.