One Year of COVID: Public Opinion

In February 2021, Iranians largely approved of their government’s handling of COVID-19, even though almost four out of five reported that they knew someone who was struck with or died from the disease. Public opinion polling conducted one year into the pandemic revealed contrasting trends. On government performance, the poll conducted by IranPoll for the University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies found that:

  • A majority – 77 percent – believed that the government had done a “very good” or “somewhat good job” of dealing with the outbreak.
  • A plurality – 40 percent – said that Iran had responded to COVID-19 “about as effective as similar countries,” while 30 percent said that Iran had handled the pandemic “more effective than similar countries.”
  • An overwhelming majority – 85 percent – rated the performance of Iran’s healthcare system as “very good” or “somewhat good.”

The pandemic had a sweeping impact, medically and economically, across the country. The survey also found that:

  • A majority of Iranians – 79 percent – said that they or someone they knew was infected with COVID-19.
  • Nearly half – 49 percent – said that they knew someone who had died because of the virus.
  • A quarter – 25 percent – said that someone in their household had lost their job because of the pandemic.

Most Iranians – 59 percent – said that they would “definitely get vaccinated,” while 23 percent said that they would “probably get vaccinated.” The first survey was conducted between September 1 and October 2, 2020. The second survey was conducted from January 26, 2021 to February 6, 2021. The sample size for each was around 1,000 people with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

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