A lingering effect of the pandemic continues to haunt some local parents on the hunt for baby formula and children’s medicine as a local pharmacist said cases of the flu and RSV continue.

Health experts said there are alternatives parents can safely give children for both medicine and baby formula. The nutrition education coordinator of the Erie WIC office said breastfeeding is always encouraged for mothers but unfortunately there are moms who cannot and should not breastfeed

This leaves families impacted by the baby formula shortage that began in February 2022.

“We are still having an issue getting formula and we’re trying the state has let us offer alternatives to some of the regular formulas if the moms can find that on the shelf. Also our warehouse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where we get some of our specialized ones, some of those formulas have been on long-term backup,” said Lisa Scully, nutrition education coordinator, Erie WIC program.

Scully added that some parents are able to find baby formula but others are not and this varies from month to month.

“If they are able to find it, that’s wonderful. WIC is still covering the same amount that we have been, and that’s a benefit. If they can’t find it, then we do our best to give them alternatives,” Scully added.

Parents are also being impacted by a shortage of children’s medicine as a local pharmacist said cases of RSV and the flu remain prominent.

“There have been some days and weeks where we have run out of some items, more specifically like infant’s Tylenol and things like that,” said Bob Heath, pharmacy manager, Colonial Family Pharmacy.

Heath added that as demand has gone up, supply has gone down, but he has advice for any parent looking for this who may have been impacted by the shortage.

“Reach out to your pharmacist and ask them questions – what is available based on age? If it’s under six months, certainly Tylenol is your only option. If it’s above six months, certainly you go Tylenol or ibuprofen. Ibuprofen does seem to be much more readily available,” Heath added.

The WIC office recommends that parents use the WIC shopper app to help locate baby formula.