Baby formula shortage: will there be enough?

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WHEC) — The first aircraft carrying over 70,000 pounds of hypoallergenic baby formula touched down in Indianapolis over the weekend, but it will still be a while before store shelves are fully stocked.

We spoke with a pediatrician from Rochester Regional Health about what struggling parents should keep in mind in the meantime.

Nestle, the company that makes the formula, says that some of it is ready to be deployed within a couple of days. The rest of it still needs to be tested and then sent out over the next couple of weeks.

But when is more formula on the way? The current batch only serves about 9,000 babies and 8,000 toddlers for the span of one week.

"How long do you expect to be distributing formula on an emergency basis around the country? As long as it takes but our understanding is up until the production capacity has caught up, right? And we get the production back to where it needs to be here. So we’re thinking a matter of weeks, not months," said Richard Smith, FedEx President.

The much-needed supply arrived just as New York City declared a state of emergency over the formula shortage.

CEO of the shuttered Abbott formula plant apologized in a Washington post-op-ed, saying "we’re sorry to every family we’ve let down since our voluntary recall."

"Most formulas over the counter are pretty much the same. There are different brands, etc., but for the vast majority of babies—any and all of those are completely fine. Any differences do not affect a baby in a clinical or traditional standpoint so I think one of the key points is making parents aware that it doesn’t have to be a specific brand or whatever they’ve been using," says Dr. Stephen Schulz, from Rochester Regional Health.

The doctor also says substitutes like soy formula are perfectly fine.