In vaccine studies, an important research question is to study effect modification of clinical treatment efficacy by intermediate biomarker-based principal strata. In settings where participants entering a trial may have prior exposure and therefore variable baseline biomarker values, clinical treatment efficacy may further depend jointly on a biomarker measured at baseline and measured at a fixed time after vaccination. This makes it important to conduct a bivariate effect modification analysis by both the intermediate biomarker-based principal strata and the baseline biomarker values. Existing research allows this assessment if the sampling of baseline and intermediate biomarkers follows a monotone pattern, i.e., if participants who have the biomarker measured post-randomization would also have the biomarker measured at baseline. However, additional complications in study design could happen in practice. For example, in a dengue correlates study, baseline biomarker values were only available from a fraction of participants who have biomarkers measured post-randomization. How to conduct the bivariate effect modification analysis in these studies remains an open research question. In this article, we propose approaches for bivariate effect modification analysis in the complicated sampling design based on an estimated likelihood framework. We demonstrate advantages of the proposed method over existing methods through numerical studies and illustrate our method with data sets from two phase 3 dengue vaccine efficacy trials.

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