Houston Co. Health Dept. continues to provide assistance in search of baby formula

Houston Co. Health Department works towards making baby formula more available
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 2:22 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Parents have been on the hunt for a vital part of their babies routine, formula. Since early 2022 they have been forced to fearfully search through stores and, at times, having no luck in finding the product they need for their child. Recently, there has been some relief in the baby formula shortage, but not for all. The public health department remains making it a priority to help many of these families who struggle finding formula.

“It seems like from week to week that it will be one formula that is in decent supply,” Corey Kirkland, administrator for the Southeastern public health district, said. “I won’t say it’s in great supply, but it’s in decent supply for what’s needed and then another formula will go down in supply.”

That limbo continues the next week and the week after that with different formulas.

“Parents are having to hunt probably from store to store and call around to find where the formula is that they would prefer to use but it’s ongoing but it’s manageable at this point,” Kirkland said.

Kirkland said progress has been made since the formula shortage first began, but it remains a battle when it comes to parents finding baby formula for their child. Especially for the parents of those with more sensitive stomachs with limited options available for purchase.

“We work directly with a lot of those moms to find what they need,” Kirkland said. “We give them alternatives on what they can feed that child, there’s actually a brochure that we have come up with in state office that we can give them.”

The brochure provides parents who are using WIC vouchers to buy baby formula with temporary buying options. It also provides a graphic of how many cans they can buy.

The health department also has a limited number of supplies of formulas on hand to purchase with WIC vouchers.

“If we notice that there’s a big demand with one and we can’t find it, we will go ahead and place an order for that one, and we can try to keep some of that in the office until it’s used up,” Kirkland said. “We don’t want to get too much because things change back and forth and we certainly don’t want to take formula from another part of the state or another state that could use it. So, we try to keep some on hand for those places where we see those shortages and parents struggling to find what they need.”

Formulas are also available online, but before confirming your order, Kirkland said to make sure they are FDA approved.

He reminds parents to consult with their doctor before easing their child into new formulas.

Kirkland said the state office has been fully engaged during this time with ordering and finding formula while pushing out resources for those who seek assistance.

Click here to view the ADPH brochure.

To get assistance from formula plants, here is a list of phone numbers for customer service:

Abott’s Customer Service: 1-877-4Abott or 1-800-986-8540 (recall-specific information)

Abott’s product request line and form for metabolic formulas: 1-800-553-7042

Reckitt’s (Mead Johnson) Customer Service: 1-800-BABY-123 (222-9123)

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