Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and its partner BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) share the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine market right now. However, a much smaller company could soon be in a position to launch its vaccine. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on July 21, healthcare and cannabis bureau editor-analyst Olivia Zitkus and Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss how Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) could potentially shake up the COVID vaccine market.

Olivia Zitkus: Let's move over to another vaccine maker without a vaccine on the market yet. Let's talk about Novavax. The U.S. currently has three approved vaccines or authorized vaccines, it's got Pfizer-BioNTech's, Moderna's, and Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine.

But another one can soon be on the way, Novavax is expecting to file for Emergency Use Authorization in the third quarter. If they can succeed, how could Novavax shake up the COVID-19 vaccine market?

Keith Speights: I think there are two ways that Novavax could potentially shake things up to at least to some extent. First of all, I think if studies find that Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine is significantly more effective against the delta variant than the other vaccines, I think demand both in the U.S. and in other countries will explode for Novavax's vaccine if that happens. That's one scenario.

Another one would be even without knowing the efficacy against the delta variant. I think Novavax could be a really attractive booster dose going forward. Assuming we will have booster doses there, but let's say 2022 and beyond, I think Novavax has a real good shot, no pun intended, about being among the top booster doses.

I think those are two scenarios that could really be favorable for the company. Now, I don't expect though that Novavax is going to have a significantly big impact on the dynamics in the U.S. vaccine market in the near term. Again, unless there's some data that comes out showing really superior efficacy against the delta variant. But assuming that doesn't happen, I don't think Novavax can shake up things all that much in the U.S. market over the near term.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have commanding market share, Johnson & Johnson is starting to gain a little. These companies are also working, particularly the messenger RNA companies, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna they're working to develop variant-specific vaccines and they have a head start on that front, I think that just puts them in a really good spot.

Still though, I think Novavax will be able to carve out market share, particularly in international markets. Obviously, Olivia, this all assumes that Novavax wins Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine based on the results from its late-stage studies, I think that's really likely. I think most people are fully expecting Novavax to win EUA in the relatively near term.

Zitkus: Yet at Phase 3 trial, again like Pfizer, and Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson way above the 50-60% goal that the CDC in the FDA had set for vaccines way back over a year ago. It showed 89.7% efficacy against the alpha variant and then 96.4% efficacy against non-alpha variants.

I think the alpha variant, was the one that had started to spread. We'd heard about that more in the U.K. I think that's the one that they looked at. It'll be interesting to see the performance versus delta, and whether Novavax could emerge as the supplier of booster shots, maybe not in the United States, but elsewhere should be really interesting.

Anything else on Novavax, Keith, or should we hop over to, let's chat some BioNTech. I love BioNTech. [laughs]

Speights: The only other thing I would say on Novavax is it's still relatively small, certainly compared to the other biotechs that have vaccines on the market. Certainly a stock to watch. If the company wins EUA in the next few months, I think the stock could take off again.

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.