(RxWiki News) Baby formula is not as hard to find as it was last summer, but it's still difficult in some parts of the United States.
Some popular brands of infant formula remain scarce. And that means parents of infants are concerned.
Moves by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal agencies made more formula available in the US in recent months. Importing formula from other countries enabled many parents to breathe a sigh of relief.
But that didn't solve the problem — not completely.
According to The New York Times, around 23 percent of stores were out of formula at the time of publication. Many others had limited brands or types available — and only in small quantities.
Before the shutdown of an infant formula plant, roughly 10 percent of stores would be out of formula at a given time.
The shutdown that caused the formula shortage was due to bacterial contamination of formula linked to one particular manufacturing plant.
Two infants died as a result of infections that appeared to be related to the formula. But it's important to note that the manufacturer, Abbott Nutrition, claims there is no conclusive evidence to link the contaminated formula to the deaths.
According to the FDA, the current formula shortage is actually a distribution problem.
“Is there enough formula to go around? The answer is yes, there already is enough formula here,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf in an interview with The New York Times. “We just have to continue to work to get the distribution improved.”
Dr. Califf told the Times that it might take another couple of months before a more diverse range of formulas became widely available in stores.
If you are concerned about the availability of formula for your child, reach out to your healthcare provider.