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First flights of baby formula expected "within days," official says

Biden invokes Defense Production Act
Washington working to ease baby formula crisis 05:48

The first flights of baby formula into the United States are expected "within days" as federal officials are putting the final touches on plans to fly in supply from Europe, according to a senior White House official.

A flight from Zurich, Switzerland, to Plainfield, Indiana is set to include 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three types of baby formula — Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junior and Gerber Good Start HA, the White House said. The brands are all hypoallergenic formulas.

The White House said these brands have been prioritized because they " serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply" due to the Abbott Sturgis plant closure. The shipments will include approximately 246 pallets, the White House said. 

The departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are seeking a commercial jetliner to fly in the supply and flights would begin within days, according to the official. 

The formula will be shipped to Indiana for distribution by the formula companies to areas of the country with acute shortages, the official said.

President Joe Biden announced "Operation Fly Formula" on Wednesday to address the baby formula shortage, along with invoking the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of formula in the U.S.

The announcement comes as the White House and Congress are under pressure to take steps to address a shortage sparked by a safety recall in February.

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