Many thanks to CommonHealth commenter Rebecca44678 for pointing this out:
As of yesterday, an official o.b. page on Facebook here says that the tampons have started shipping again. To wit:
mighty. small.™ movement. We see your comments, and are happy to report that o.b. tampons are shipping again! It may take a few days or weeks to reach your area, but we’re working with retailers to restock store shelves as fast as we can. We’ll keep you posted.
I checked with Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Bonnie Jacobs and she confirmed that the page was correct. So it does look like the shortage will end soon, but that may not end the ire it caused — nor the curiosity about what really happened. And it still appears that the Ultra size has been discontinued.
Notes one Facebook commenter "...An explanation as to why everything disappeared (beyond having "production issues" which doesn't tell us anything) would be nice. If there are issues with the product, I think we, as your loyal consumers, deserve a straight answer and explanation."
CommonHealth will continue to inquire — all leads welcome!
This program aired on January 12, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.