Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), along with its partner BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) are without question the clear leaders in the COVID-19 market right now. Some Americans are already receiving the companies' vaccines and many more await vaccination.

But are there any come-from-behind stocks that could still win the COVID-19 vaccine race? In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 18, 2020, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina and writer Keith Speights discuss two stocks that just might be like the tortoise in Aesop's famous fable about the tortoise and the hare.

Corinne Cardina: Let's take some Slido questions. James would like to know, which companies are currently working on vaccines matching the doctors' suggestions. Keith, can you talk about maybe one or two of those tortoise companies that could end up really taking off and really helping with the pandemic that are not named Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech?

Keith Speights: Sure. Well, for example, Dr. Gellin mentioned single-dose vaccines. Well, the leader on that front would be Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

Johnson & Johnson is developing a single-dose vaccine. J&J has stated that they will announce efficacy results in January and they hope to be able to file for emergency use authorization and hopefully receive it in February. So that's one vaccine that is hopefully on the way quite soon and it is a single-dose vaccine. I mentioned before that I'm very interested in seeing what J&J's efficacy is. I really hope that it's at least in the ballpark of what we've seen with Pfizer and Moderna. So that's a really important one to watch.

Then there's another company that I've called the dark horse in the race, Arcturus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ARCT), A-R-C-T is the ticker there. Arcturus has a single-dose vaccine as well, and the twist with it is it's also a messenger RNA vaccine, just like Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccine. We've already seen the safety and efficacy profile of two different mRNA vaccines and they both look really good, so I think that bodes well for Arcturus' chances of also having great safety and efficacy results for its vaccine.

Again, it's single-dose, they are working on a freeze-dried version of it that they plan to move into late-stage studies, hopefully fairly soon. That would help them address some of those cold storage requirements. So that checks off several of the boxes that Dr. Gellin mentioned. So those were a couple of companies that are in clinical testing that I think have very promising vaccines, if all goes well.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.