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Formula Shortage Update from the Departments of Public Health and Human Services

Formula Shortage Update from the Departments of Public Health and Human Services

Author: Sarah Ekstrand/Thursday, May 12, 2022/Categories: IDPH News

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In Iowa and nationwide, infant formula is in short supply. The Iowa Departments of Public Health and Human Services are working to provide information and resources to Iowans who are impacted by the shortage.

Supply chain constraints have been affecting product availability since January. The formula recall issued in February and closure of the Abbott production facility in Michigan has exacerbated this issue. Given those constraints, we encourage Iowans to purchase what they need for the short term. This will ensure that all Iowans are able to access what they need, given the limited supply we are seeing nationwide. 

The FDA is responsible for taking steps to ensure the safety of infant formula while also ensuring that supply can be met when these steps are taken. Yesterday, the FDA published a press release highlighting actions it is taking to address formula supply shortages including working with major infant formula manufacturers to increase supply and helping to ensure that Abbott’s Sturgis facility can safely resume production.

“The Biden Administration must address the national shortage of infant formula immediately, increasing production and expediting distribution to the states,” said Governor Reynolds. “Parents need the assurance that they can provide the basic necessities for their family and nothing is more critical than infant formula.”

Because of the shortage, WIC enrolled families may need to visit a different location than they are used to or use alternate brands. The WIC program has made many brands and container sizes available for WIC families.

Iowans are urged not to use homemade infant formula or other alternatives as they do not contain the vitamins and minerals that a growing infant requires. Here is a helpful resource about the risks of using homemade formula. 

WIC enrolled families who need assistance finding formula should contact their local WIC clinic, find a complete list here. If they are unable to contact their community clinic, they can call 1-800-532-1579. 

Any Iowan seeking breastfeeding support can contact the WIC clinic in their community or contact their infant’s health care provider.

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