BOSTON (WHDH) - An estimated 400,000 teachers, child care workers, and school staff in Massachusetts became eligible on Thursday morning to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the state’s seven mass vaccination sites.

The state is releasing a single dump of 40,000 first-dose slots at mass vaccination sites for the final time before transitioning to a new pre-registration appointment system, which will aim to minimize “some of the heat and some of the sting” that the current booking system has caused for residents, Baker announced Wednesday.

In an effort to support the Biden-Harris administration’s directive for states to prioritize teacher vaccinations, the state will designate four days where the mass sites will only offer first-dose appointments for K-12 educators, child care workers, and K-12 school staff, according to Baker.

The dates that have been set aside include Saturday, March 27, Saturday, April 3, Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11.

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders estimated that there will be about 25,000 total appointments available across those four days.

Starting on Friday, every appointment at mass sites will be made through the pre-registration appointment system.

Teachers, child care workers, and school staff are required to use the pre-registration system to request an appointment at the mass sites and will have to provide proof of their profession.

Current mass sites are located at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, the Natick Mall, Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, the Doubletree Hotel in Danvers, the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, and in Dartmouth at the old Circuit City. The Fenway Park site is being transitioned to the Hynes Convention Center.

Baker said that other vaccine providers, including regional collaboratives, have been encouraged but are not required to restrict their appointments to the group on the dates that have already been set aside at mass sites.

Appointments can also be booked through the federal retail pharmacy program’s CVS website, as well as at any of the state’s 170 vaccination locations.

Baker warned that teachers, child care workers, and school staff may not be able to get the vaccine for several weeks because the demand for shots far exceeds the available supply.

In the coming week, the state is expected to receive a constrained supply of about 155,000 first doses, which will be sent to mass sites, hospitals, regional collaboratives, community health centers, and local boards of health.

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