First baby formula flights to arrive in Indiana this weekend

First baby formula flights to arrive in Indiana this weekend

In an effort to address a nationwide shortage, the first baby formula flights will arrive in Indiana this weekend.

The White House said Friday that the U.S. Air Force planes will depart Germany's Ramstein Air Base with 132 pallets of Nestl Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior Formula.

An additional 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula are expected to arrive over the next few days.

The three hypoallergenic baby formulas will arrive in approximately 1.5 million 8 ounce bottles.

President Biden had initially requested that the Pentagon use commercially chartered aircraft to move the formula from Europe to America. The administration said no commercial flights were available this weekend.

Operation Fly Formula came after Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up the production of infant formula.

The order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers.

According to the Food and Drug Administration's FDA head Dr. Robert Califf, Abbott Nutrition's Michigan formula plant could be up and running by next week, but Abbott said that it would take a couple of months before its product is available on shelves.

Califf said it will be a few weeks before supplies return to normal levels, especially in rural areas.

The plant has been closed since February due to contamination issues.

Abbott is one of four companies that produce about 90% of the U.S. formula, including Gerber, Perrigo and Reckitt.

The FDA relaxed importation requirements this week to relieve the situation.

The Senate passed legislation on Thursday aimed at addressing the issue for families in a government assistance program that accounts for about half of all formula purchased in the U.S.

The bill was passed by the House the day before, which will go to the president's desk.

With a $28 million emergency spending bill, lawmakers are considering boosting staffing at the FDA.