last update: 14 March 2020
The issue of vaccinations is a complex one. Advice is abundant, but some of it is targeted at local residents, or immigrants/expatriates, and not short-stay tourists. Also some of the information is time dependent, e.g. useful for some periods in the year, or because of temporary outbreaks.
And naturally if you look at 'official' websites they will list every possible option, etc. so as to never be 'caught out'.
So where to start?
You need to understand what is the advice for your actual destination. Two weeks on a beach in Spain is not the same as two months trekking in Borneo.
Most websites suggest that vaccinations should be considered at least 8 weeks before travelling.
The UK National Health website notes that vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, and polio (combined), and against typhoid, hepatitis A, and cholera are offered free because they protect against diseases thought to represent the greatest risk. They also suggest to keep up-to-date your vaccinations against hepatitis B, tuberculosis, flu, and varicella.
For one of our trips we spoke with our doctor about 2 months before leaving. We were advised, based upon our vaccination cards, to complete our protection for both hepatitis A and hepatitis B (with the 2nd and 3rd rounds of Twinrix).
We also were vaccinated against typhoid.
We were already protected for diphtheria, tetanus, polio and pertussis (whooping cough).