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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

AFL 22-11
May 27, 2022

General Acute Care Hospitals

Health Impacts of the Infant Formula Shortage

All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL notifies all GACHs about the infant formula shortage and the availability of helpful resources for families. This AFL also requests that GACHs submit specified information on admissions and emergency room visits that could possibly be related to the ongoing infant formula shortage.


Unprecedented infant formula shortages are occurring at a national level. These shortages are occurring for both regular and therapeutic formula and will likely continue another 6-8 weeks.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched the Infant Formula webpage (also in Spanish) to provide the latest information about the shortage. Social media assets are available for providers and community organizations.

To measure the health impact of the infant formula shortage, CDPH is requesting emergency departments and hospitals to collect information regarding admissions that could possibly be related to the ongoing infant formula shortage. Those infants, children, and people with special health care needs who depend on formula may present with a range of chief complaints or symptoms, from irritability to gastrointestinal distress to neurologic symptoms, anemia, or electrolyte imbalance that could be due to lack of formula, contaminated formula, or diluted formula as parents and caregivers desperately try to help. The information collected will be used to assess the impact of the infant formula shortage and assist with the allocation of resources and other types of support to communities experiencing the greatest negative impact of the infant formula shortage.

If the hospital has any applicable admissions, CDPH is requesting facilities to report once per 24 hours, all emergency department visits and hospital admissions suspected or confirmed to be related to the infant formula shortage. Hospitals need not report if they do not have any admissions or emergency department visits meeting the above criteria. Please complete one entry for each patient's emergency department visit or hospital admission in the Infant Formula Shortage Database Form (Excel) and send to your Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC).

CDPH expects this crisis to be time limited, for approximately 6-8 weeks, as manufacturers ramp up production and non-domestic infant formula arrives in the United States.

If you have any questions about this AFL, please contact your MHOAC.



Original signed by Cassie Dunham

Cassie Dunham

Deputy Director




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